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SBA 8(a) Reforms Promote Accountability and Transparency

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) and Doyon, Limited (Doyon) are encouraged by the reforms published today by the U.S. Small Business Administration that promote accountability and transparency in the 8(a) business development program without denying opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged companies to develop sustainable businesses.

Our three corporations - ASRC, CIRI and Doyon - proposed a slate of viable and responsible reforms to the Small Business Administration in September 2010 to increase competition and accountability in 8(a) contracting while reducing the potential for abuse. For example, in response to the draft regulations issued in 2009, we proposed to prohibit the "rollover" of 8(a) sole-source contracts from one 8(a) participant to an affiliated 8(a) company owned by the same organization. We are pleased that the SBA took our comments into consideration and adopted our proposed approach.

We welcome reform that does not dismantle existing federal Indian policy. Current Congressional legislation targeting Alaska Native corporations' participation in the 8(a) program would effectively amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, the very act by which Alaska Native corporations were created.

"The rule-making process has been long and difficult for the Alaska Native community. The SBA struck a meaningful balance by protecting government and taxpayer interests with these reforms while continuing to provide economic opportunities for disadvantaged businesses," said Rex Rock Sr., president and chief executive officer of ASRC.

"ASRC, CIRI and Doyon worked with the administration to improve the 8(a) program to ensure that it continues to support the business owners it was designed to serve," said Margie Brown, president and chief executive officer of CIRI.

Norm Phillips, president and chief executive officer of Doyon said, "Congress expanded competitive opportunities for Alaska Native corporations under the 8(a) program to benefit thousands of Alaska Native shareholders, families and individuals, and this should remain a priority of the federal government."

ASRC, CIRI and Doyon proposed a nine-point program for reform to the Small Business Administration in September 2010. View a copy of the reform proposal and a letter to Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, at the following links:

www.asrc.com www.ciri.com www.doyon.com

ABOUT ASRC, CIRI, AND DOYON
Rex A. Rock Sr. is president and chief executive officer of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. Margaret L. Brown is president and chief executive officer of CIRI. Norman L. Phillips Jr. is president and chief executive officer of Doyon, Limited. Collectively their organizations represent the business interests of more than 35,000 Alaska Natives. ASRC, CIRI and Doyon are three Alaska Native regional corporations established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

SOURCE ASRC; CIRI; Doyon



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