What fueled the growth of Alaska native corporations?
The government has awarded
$29 billion in contracts
to ANCs since 2000.
Under pressure to spend quickly after 9/11, the Pentagon and other federal agencies took advantage of exemptions that allowed ANC-owned subsidiaries to receive contracts of any size without competition. Over the past decade, the government has awarded them billions in contracts for computer technology, military uniforms and myriad services across the globe. Government contracting now provides almost half of the revenue for Alaska native corporations.
In the rush to get the work done, nobody addressed the obvious question: How could small, inexperienced native companies handle giant government contracts? The answer was to partner with established firms. But some ANC-owned subsidiaries won contracts and passed on much of the work and revenue to major contractors, audits and other records show.