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February 10, 2011

Thompson Calls for Elimination of the Alaskan Native Corporation Carve-Out

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, introduced legislation to place eligible small businesses in the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 8(a) program on an equal footing with Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs). The legislation, H.R. 598, is a companion bill to S. 236, introduced by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Congressman Thompson submitted the following statement with the introduction of the legislation:

"The 8(a) program was established to improve participation rates for small, minority-owned and operated, economically and socially disadvantaged businesses in the Federal marketplace. Alaska Native Corporations were established to compensate Native Alaskans for their land claims. The current 8(a) program does not help either small, disadvantaged businesses or Native Alaskans," stated Thompson. "All too often, small businesses are crowded out of opportunities by Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) that receive uncapped, no-bid contracts under a special provision of the 8(a) program. This bill will assure that ANCs cannot continue in a privileged status that both protects them from legitimate competition from other businesses and fails to return a fair share of profits to Native Alaskan shareholders."

"Small, minority businesses must be given a fair opportunity to succeed, and I am hopeful that this legislation will bring us one step closer those goals. I look forward to working with Senator McCaskill as we move forward," Thompson concluded.

Senator McCaskill, who introduced S.236, released the following statement: "Alaska Native Corporations are taking advantage of loopholes that allow them to access billions of taxpayer dollars in non-competitive contracts at the expense of the other small and disadvantaged businesses in the 8(a) program. Taxpayers are not getting the best bang for their buck and it's time we leveled the playing field and asked these multi-million dollar corporations to play by the same rules."

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For Press Inquiries:
Thompson: Dena Graziano or Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978
McCaskill: Laura Myron (202) 228-6502