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Non-Native companies benefit from Native contracting

Two Alaska Native corporations have won sole-source defense contracts worth up to $500 million but only after partnering with large non-Native companies that would have had to otherwise compete for the work.

The Alutiiq Native corporation and Wackenhut Services received a contract to provide security services to Defense facilities. Without a Native partner, Wackenhut may not have been eligible for the work because foreign-owned companies are restricted in the types of government work they can do.

The Chenega Native corporation and Vance International won another security contract. Vance has ties to prominent Republicans and is being paid $1.1 million to provide security for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Some lawmakers have raised concern about no-bid Native contracts. A $40 million contract for Alutiiq and Wackenhut to provide security at nuclear laboratories in Idaho was withdrawn after the state's Congressional delegation complained.

Native defense contracting expanded after Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) inserted riders in appropriations bills allowing the Pentagon to award big deals to Native corporations, which are not tribes.

Get the Story:
Security for the Homeland, Made in Alaska (The New York Times 8/13)
Army outsources security positions (The Los Angeles Times 8/13)

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