Begich Comments on Federal Report on Alaska Native Corporations
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, today commented on a report that focuses on the governance and financial reporting requirements of Regional Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs).
The report, entitled: "Alaska Native Corporations: Status 40 Years after Establishment and Future Considerations,” was issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). It was originally requested by Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts who has issued in a press release that he intends to propose legislation in response to GAO's report that would allow the federal government to dictate Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) reporting requirements to shareholders.
“While I appreciate Congressman Markey’s interest in Regional Alaska Native Corporations, I do not agree that it is the role of Congress to define what is in the best interest of their shareholders,” said Begich.
“Since its passage 41 years ago, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act has allowed for each regional corporation to establish reporting and governance requirements for their shareholders that that work best for its people. Attempts to change federal reporting requirements for regional ANCSA corporations are unfounded and will fall on deaf ears. This is yet another example of how so many individuals in the federal government lack a real understanding of our unique state.”
Sen. Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski became co-requesters of the report late last year. Sen. Begich is a vocal advocate for Alaska Native priorities, including the successful 8a contracting program.
ANCSA requires ANCs to provide annual reports to their shareholders that contain "substantially all" of the information the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would require. As non-publicly traded companies, ANCs are not required to comply with federal securities law. Like other Alaska corporations, ANCSA regional corporations are subject to the state's corporate laws with limited exceptions, and are run by an elected board of directors.