APRIL 12, 2006
As expected, a preliminary federal audit has concluded that there is rampant abuse and a huge waste of taxpayer money in the lucrative no bid contracts that the government awards Alaska Native companies under a 1971 law that gives them special treatment.
A draft of the report, being conducted by the congressional investigative agency called the Government Accountability Office (GAO), details abuse and unfair advantages in awarding wealthy Native companies multi-million dollar contracts simply because the profits supposedly benefit Native indigenous people.
Unnamed GAO officials called the contract process with Native companies an “open checkbook” and said they would be laughed out of the office if they raised compliance concerns. The result has led to widespread abuse and millions of taxpayer dollars in exchange for dismal services.
Some of the questionable contracts include; a $145 million State Department deal with Kuk Construction for work in Iraq; a $60 million NASA contract for technical services with Akima Corp, which was recently cited by auditors for inflated prices for Hurricane Katrina classroom work and the U.S. Army’s recent $500 million contract for security guards with criminal records.
Many of the deals are secured through the Native American Contractors Association which claims to work to enhance the economic self-sufficiency of America’s indigenous people and to create a brighter future for Indian tribes and Alaska Natives whose members are among the poorest and most under-employed in America.
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