DoD Buy Indian Program
Tribal 8(a) Program
Public Law 93-638
Health and Safety
Quality Assurance / Quality Control
The Indian Incentive Program, which originates from the Buy Indian Act, provides
a unique opportunity for prime contractors to receive a 5% bonus payment
on work subcontracted to Ahtna subsidiaries.
The Indian Incentive Program provides for the payment of 5% of the amount subcontracted
to an Indian organization for Indian-owned economic enterprise, when authorized under the terms of the contract.
DoD contracts with Contractors, regardless of size of the company, that contain the
FAR clause 52.226-1, Utilization of the Indian Organization and Indian-Owned
Economics Enterprises, are eligible for incentive payments under the
FY 1999 Program. These contracts require contractors to use their best
efforts to find Indian organizations and Indian-owned economic enterprises
the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in subcontracts awarded
to the fullest extent consistent with efficient performance of the contract(s).
Contracting officers, subject to the terms and conditions of the contract, shall
authorize an incentive payment of 5% of the Indian organizations or Indian-owned economic enterprises.
The FY 1999 Appropriations Act makes $8 Million of the amount appropriated
for accounts in Title III available for incentive payment to Prime Contractors.
Prime Contractors (regardless of size) submit for incentive payments to DoD Contracting Officers.
- Cite the use of FAR Clause 52.226-1 in DoD contract number
- Copies of pertinent pages of the subcontract
- Copies of contractor's invoices
- Total payment of subcontract and calculation for 5% rebate
- Subcontractor's status as an Indian-owned economic enterprise
- Review and verify documents received
- Forward request and verification summary for incentive payment to DoD SADBU Office
- Provide point of contact of supporting offices with an address, telephone number, and
e-mail address of the person who will receive funding
- Provide e-mail address and telephone number of DoD Contracting Officer
- Number of DoD Contracting Officer
- For further information about the Indian Incentive Program, contact the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
in Washington, D.C. at: (202) 565-8124
The 8(a) program is intended to benefit the client as well as the contractor
through mechanisms that ensure quality performance. Prior to acceptance
into the program, the contractor is subjected to a rigorous review of
its ownership, daily management, operations, experience and financial
status. Only those contractors that can document disadvantaged business
status and demonstrate the viability of the organization are accepted
into the program. Once accepted, the contractor is required to provide
the SBA with a detailed business plan that must be updated annually.
Upon acceptance, each contractor is assigned North American Industrial Code System based
on the personnel. Performance of the 8(a) contracts is then limited
to those NAICS codes. As a company gains experience and expertise, it
may request additional codes from the SBA based on documentation of
The Small Business Administration's 8(a) program is designed to benefit
the client as well as the contractor by assisting small disadvantaged businesses and by providing:
- The ability to pursue sole-source procurements.
- Limited-competition opportunities in the government arena.
- The client is ensured that bonding, insurance and other legal requirements will be met.
Though sole-source contracts, businesses are given an opportunity to enter
the government contracting arena and gain the experience necessary to
compete in the full and open market. Competitive bidding on limited opportunities allows 8(a) contractors to gain valuable experience in
various market arenas.
As an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC), Ahtna and its Subsidiaries are eligible to
receive sole-source contracts greater than $3 million dollars. Per 13 CFR 124.506(b), ANC’s are exempt from competitive threshold limitations.
The 8(a) program offers many additional advantages to government project managers as well. By allowing for sole source
acquisition, even on major projects, it streamlines the competitive acquisition process. It allows project managers the discretion to define a scope of
work and to hand pick the contractor to perform the work.
One of the goals of the 8(a) program is to allow non-8(a) contractors to
expand their scope of services. Therefore, the 8(a) contractor is permitted, with approval of the SBA,
to subcontract a portion of this work to other qualified firms.
While subcontracting is restricted to maintain the integrity of the program as an opportunity
for disadvantaged businesses, subcontracting limits can be as high as 85%.
Contractors develop valuable relationships, while the client benefits from a qualified,
experienced, well-rounded team.
- Ahtna Engineering Services, LLC
- Ahtna Facility Services, Inc.
- Ahtna Support & Training Services
- Koht'aene Enterprises Company, LLC
Section 102 of the Amended Act directs the Secretary, upon the request of
any Indian tribe by tribal resolution, to enter into a self-determination
contract with a tribal organization to plan, conduct and administer
programs or portions thereof, including construction programs. What's
important to understand is that the relationship of "638" contracting
is Government-to-Government. Indian Self-Determination contracts are,
in general, not procurement contracts.
Once a resolution and self-determination contract is presented, the Secretary
has 90 days in which to approve the proposed contract. A disapproval
must be made within 60 days and must be based on one or more of the
- The service of function to be contracted is unsatisfactory.
- There is inadequate protection of trust resources.
- The project or function cannot be completed or maintained as proposed in the contract.
- Develop any new self-determination contract.
- Help a tribe assume responsibility for any complete or partial program authorized
by Section 102(a)(1) of the amended Indian Self-Determination Act.
- Modify a proposed self-determination contract previously rejected by the Secretary.
- Technical assistance grants are also available to tribes who in turn seek assistance
from other tribal organizations operating mature "638" contracts.
The next section of importance for our purpose is Section 105 of the Amended
Act. Section 105 specifically excludes all self-determination contracts
except construction contracts from the Office of Federal Procurement
Policy Act, and the Federal Acquisition Act. Because a construction
contract is still regarded as a procurement contract, the Federal Acquisition
Regulations apply, in part to these contracts.
To determine the extent of the applicable regulations, the interim internal regulations
of BIA must be consulted. Section 271.51(b) of those regulations states
that the Commissioner of BIA may waive any Federal contracting laws,
executive orders, regulations, rules and other administrative requirements
which he determines are not appropriate for the purposes of the contract
involved or are inconsistent with the Act (see attached regulations).
Section 271.5(c) of the BIA regulations directs that the contracts will be negotiated
on a non-competitive basis without advertising when the contracts are requested by a tribal governing body.
Public Law 93-638 provides a contracting process by which an Indian Tribe or
Native Corporation can obtain government contracting opportunities without the necessity of a competitive bid process. The result of the Amended
Act is to create a "partnering" relationship between the agency and the Indian Tribe.
The United States Congress, as well as the Courts have given the Act's provisions
broad interpretation. This has enabled the agencies and tribes to identify and engage in creative and innovative methods of expanding Native contracting
- Any Number of Positions
- Government competes against best value contractor proposal
- 10 or fewer appropriated-fund civilian employees
- Government does not compete
- Requires completion of Market Analysis
Firms with more than 51% Native American ownership are provided preferential procurement
rights through the establishment of laws and directives especially for this purpose.
As stated in the FY 1999 DOD Appropriations Acts (Public Law 105-262) and 10 USC
2461 (Sec 8014), the direct conversion of an Air Force commercial activity with 11 or more civilian employees requires that the procurement be
awarded to a qualified preferential procurement source contractor certified in the Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) business development
Furthermore, if the awarded procurement is over $3 million (including option years),
the 8(a) contractor must have tribal status as defined in CFR 124.00. "A commercial activity of any size that is performed by federal
employees may be converted to a preferential performance, without cost comparisons" if the contract is awarded to a preferential procurement
source at a fair market price. At the agencies discretion, a cost comparison may be conducted.
The Air Force revised its policy in May 1998, in recognition of the viability
of this alternative. The revised policy reads, "Regardless of the number of civilians or military positions, a direct conversion may
be performed if negotiations indicated the conversion to a tribal 8(a) will be cost effective (i.e., through comparison of current versus contract
The Ahtna group is committed to a safe and productive work environment. Our Occupational
illness and injury rates are well below the current national average despite extremely inclement weather and remote operations.
Our site health and safety plans ensure hazards are identified and mitigated,
specific site safety reviews are conducted and daily safety and work plans are held.
Our specialists bring a total of over 200 years of regulatory compliance experience
in all facets of environmental engineering, construction and waste management experience in both government and private sector arenas.
Ahtna has implemented a Corporate (QA/QC) program designed to oversee every aspect
of project development from document preparation through construction.
The program incorporates:
- Peer Review
- Testing Methodology
- Data Review
- Routine Calibration of Instruments
- Implementation of a Three Phase Inspection Program
- Maintenance Checks & Logs
Our success is evidenced by Ahtna's Award of Recognition from the U.S. Navy
for "excellent work habits and ethics" for hazardous and solid waste removal and disposal project in Adak, Alaska.