Special Status of 8(a) Subsidiaries Owned by Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs)
UIC Government Services is the federal government contracting division of Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC), the Alaska Native Village Corporation of Barrow, Alaska. UIC Government Services is comprised of two wholly-owned holding companies of UIC—UIC Technical Services, LLC (UICTS) and UIC Maintenance & Manufacturing, LLC (UICMM). Several of the operating subsidiaries owned by UICTS and UICMM are certified in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business Development Program. Unlike other 8(a) companies that are owned by individual business owners, UIC Government Services companies can receive sole source awards of any size that cannot be protested due to their status as ANC-owned companies. The contracting process can often take place within two weeks. Agencies and government contractors are able to claim 100% Small Business numbers and Native American Set-Aside numbers when contracting with subsidiaries within UIC Government Services. For more specific information please see the federal regulation citations shown below.
Absence of a Sole-Source Dollar Threshold – 13 C.F.R. 124.506(b)
(b) SBA may award a sole source 8(a) contract to a Participant concern owned and controlled by an Indian tribe or an ANC where the anticipated value of the procurement exceeds the applicable competitive threshold if SBA has not accepted the requirement into the 8(a) BD program as a competitive procurement. There is no requirement that a procurement must be competed whenever possible before it can be accepted on a sole source basis for a tribally-owned or ANC- owned concern, but a procurement may not be removed from competition to award it to a tribally-owned or ANC-owned concern on a sole source basis
Economically Disadvantaged – 13 C.F.R. 124.109(a)(2)
(2) An ANC that meets the requirements set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section is deemed economically disadvantaged under 43 U.S.C. 1626(e), and need not establish economic disadvantage as required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
Non-Challenged 8(a) Sole Source Award-13 C.F.R. 124.517(a)
(a) The eligibility of a Participant for a sole source or competitive 8(a) requirement may not be challenged by another Participant or any other party, either to SBA or any administrative forum as part of a bid or other contract protest.
Special Rights Under the A-76 Program
The A-76 program (“A-76” refers to the number of the implementing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular) imposes a long and cumbersome procedure for any government facility that wishes to contract out (i.e., outsource) an activity that employs ten or more civilian government employees. (The average A-76 study takes 23 months.) One of the few options open to a DOD command, service or agency that wants to contract out a function but avoid the cumbersome A-76 process is to award the contract to a tribal or ANC 8(a) firm.
Language in the Defense Appropriations Act3 provides that a command does not have to go through the A-76 process but may do a direct conversion of that function to a private contractor, regardless of the number of civilian employees, if the command contracts with a firm that is 51% or more Native American owned, so long as the conversion is cost effective. While this opportunity is available to any 51% or more Native American owned firm, in practice it is only available to tribal and ANC 8(a)s on the larger conversions, because the Appropriations language does not create a new procurement vehicle. As a result, the only way the command may contract with a Native American firm is to do it through the 8(a) sole source authority. As indicated above, the only entities that may receive an 8(a) contract in excess of $3 million for services are tribal and ANC-owned 8(a) firms and the bulk of the A-76 contracts are far in excess of $3 million.
DOD Indian Incentive Program–The 5% Subcontracting Bonus– DFAR 252.226-7001
A DOD contractor that subcontracts with a firm that is 51% or more Native American owned is entitled to receive a bonus equal to 5% of the amount of the subcontract award. While this provision is theoretically available to all agencies, Congress has provided appropriations to implement it only to DOD, which, after some initial resistance, has initiated it fully (out of the DOD Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization). Defense Appropriations Acts provided $15 million to this program in FY 2005. DFAR states: (f)(1) The Contractor, on its own behalf or on behalf of a subcontractor at any tier, may request an incentive payment in accordance with this clause.