Alaska Native Corporations get no love
In the wake of a congressional hearing
and other recent coverage of the special treatment received by Alaska Native Corporations and tribally owned companies, commenters have let loose plenty of vitriol against these companies.
Because of special contracting advantages they received – eternal 8(a) membership, no limits on noncompeted contracts and other benefits – many of these companies have grown into huge operations.
Some of the harshest comments came from our story on a Senate hearing
and report that was critical of the amount of money flowing back to the villages and tribes, as well as the number of tribal and ANC shareholders who actually work for these companies.
“Like many programs that the U.S. government has developed for the Alaskan Native people, this one has been hijacked by non-native people who could care less about helping the Native shareholders they supposedly represent,” one commenter wrote.
“This program obviously aids certain folks but clearly not the Alaskan Natives. … Those Native Americans acting as a front for this activity should find themselves sharing cell space with the Wall Street crowd. This is no more than a handout to corporate America and large government contractors,” wrote another.
In a blog I wrote leading up to the hearing
, one commenter defended the ANCs:
“ANCs do in fact deliver economic, social and cultural benefits to their shareholders due in part to the 8a program. They have increased their capabilities over the years just as Congress intended. Besides, Native enterprise contracting represents a fraction of the total federal contracting pie — only 1 percent!”
But criticism ruled the day:
“The abuses in the set-aside programs go back a LONG way and I find them both amusing and disgusting. Amusing because the way many of the laws are written invite the abuse — and disgusting because the bottom feeders all slither through the legal loop-holes to take business away from those who should get it.”
Other than that one commenter, the defenders of these companies have been silent. Can no one show them a little love?
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jul 22, 2009 at 9:54 AM