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WASHINGTON D.C.-Long-time critic of Alaska Native Corporations and their role in 8(a) contracts, Claire McCaskill, chairperson of the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight sent a letter to NASA Inspector General Paul K Martin.
In the letter, she requested a formal review of NASA’s contract with Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Research and Technical Solutions.
In her letter, she pointed out four areas of concern to her. One, that it was a no-bid contract even though an acquisition plan had been in place for over a month. Two, she voices concern over the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract even though she says there is 10-years of cost history. Three, the contract performance of the ASRC subsidiary is different than the new subsidiary contracted to do the job. And finally, that NASA stated ASRC staff that previously administered the contract would administer this project through ASRC’s new subsidiary.
The Arctic Slope Regional Corporation points out that this latest action by McCaskill comes ten months after the contract was awarded. The has been no reason given by McCaskill staff why there was such a huge delay before requesting action.
In a bill waiting to be heard on the Senate floor, Alaskan Native corporations would no longer receive some of the benefits that they have formerly, but still can participate in the Small Business Administration’s program. Native corporations will have to qualify under the same rules as other participants in the program. Although McCaskill says the new, tighter rules still don’t go far enough.
McCaskill first targeted Alaska Native Corporations in 2009, she investigated the Small Business Administration looking for abuses in the program. McCaskill feels that not enough money trickles down to the shareholders of Native Corporations in Alaska.