Bering Sea Eccotech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tanadgusix Corporation (TDX). TDX is an Alaska Native Corporation representing St. Paul Island, the largest Aleut community in the world. St. Paul Island is one of five Pribilof Islands located in the Bering Sea. Tanadgusix and its subsidiaries are a diversified and varied business operation. The business portfolio and experience includes extensive property management and land stewardship in a pristine marine environment as well as environmental remediation contracting. TDX also includes Fishing and Seafood processing, urban and rural lodging and hotel ownership, eco-tourism, and ground services and logistics in the marine industry of the Bering Sea. Founded in 1972, as part of the Alaska Native Lands Claims Settlement Act, Tanadgusix (Aleut meaning “our land”), or “TDX”, the shortened version, is a uniquely Alaskan company. Its exceptional character and multifaceted perspective derives from the unique history of struggle, hardship, and endurance of the Pribilof Aleut people, in a strange and sometimes hostile sub-arctic ocean environment, under colonial domination of the two world powers (Russia and the United States) that have ruled over the Aleutian Island and Bering Sea region since the mid-eighteenth century.
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ALASKA NATIVE CORPORATIONS (ANCs)
There are 256 Alaska Native Village Corporations in Alaska, and 13 Regional Corporations. The corporations were capitalized with extensive land holdings in Alaska, and development capital, based on population. To date, many of the primary objectives of ANCSA have been met. Native shareholders actively participate in the management of these corporations. The corporate mission statements characteristically include references to developing economic empowerment in order to preserve control of the lands, traditional values/lifestyles, and a future for their children. In the 27 years since the passage of the ANCSA, Alaska Native Corporations have grown and matured to become solid members of the national and international community. The diversity of their business ventures covers the full spectrum of technology and industry. Their customer base and partnerships are international. They retain a government-to-government status with the Federal government and they are eligible to participate in the SBA’s 8(a) business development program. It is through the special privileges granted them by this program that some of the Alaska Native Corporations have chosen to pursue new ventures working as Government Contractors and further develop their economic empowerment and independence.
THE LAW AS IT PERTAINS TO ANCS AND GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING
The United States has a special government-to-government relationship with the 560 Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities in this country, a relationship that has it’s foundation in the Indian Commerce clause in the United States Constitution. Pursuant to this relationship, Congress has assumed the responsibility of assisting the tribes and Alaska Native entities (formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, hereinafter known as “ANCs”) to develop the economies of the reservations and villages, where unemployment often exceeds 70%. In part, Congress has met this obligation by providing ANCs with unique rights under the SBA 8(a) program. By adding special provisions, Congress has modified that program so it can be used to assist the larger scale economic activity that is needed to address the severe unemployment of Alaska Natives. A summary of the unique rights of the tribal and ANC-owned firms under the 8(a) program, with citations to the applicable regulatory provisions, follows:
- 8(a) firms owned by tribes and ANCs may receive sole source contracts regardless of dollar amount. They are not subject to the $3 million limitation on sole source contracts applicable to other 8(a) firms. 13 C.F.R 124.311(b)
- Tribes and ANCs may have as many 8(a) companies as they wish so long as each is in a different primary NAICS code
- When determining the size of a firm owned by a tribe or ANC, the parent entity or any other subsidiaries owned by that tribe or ANC are not affiliated. SBA considers only the size of the particular tribal/ANC subsidiary at issue
- The Justice Department has determined that tribal and ANC-owned 8(a) firms are not subject to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Adarand Case. As set out in the Justice Department’s proposed policy, issued May 2, 1996 Federal Register, any limitations that may be imposed on the SDB and 8(a) awards in certain NAICS Codes, will not be applicable to tribal and ANC-owned 8(a) firms. This is because the tribes and ANC’s are included in the programs because of their unique government-to-government relationship with the United States, not because of race or national origin factors. This in turn goes back to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Morton v. Mancari
- Firms that are 51% or more owned and controlled by ANCs are deemed socially and economically disadvantaged by statute
- The SBA is required to waive the two-year-in-business rule for tribal and ANC-owned firms so long as SBA finds that the firm has a marketing and development strategy for meeting the competitive mix of requirements of the 8(a) program. As a result, a tribal or ANC 8(a) firm may be a start-up that is teaming with a more experienced firm in the beginning
- OMB Circular A76 stipulates that the government may waive the process of conducting an A76 study and directly outsource non-inherently governmental functions of any scope directly to a tribal or ANC 8(a) entity