Doing Business with AKHI

Throughout the history of Ahtna, our subsidiaries have been successfully involved in government contracting. As such, AKHI will capitalize on the business practices and lessons learned by the Ahtna family of companies to attain an exceptional safety record; employ a highly trained and experienced workforce; and consistently delivering high performance, no matter what the business activity. Regardless if AKHI is serving as the prime contractor on projects or as a subcontractor providing support services, our clients and teaming partners can be assured AKHI will provide a safe, motivated and reliable work force.

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As an Alaska Native Corporation, Ahtna is involved with many facets of government contracting, especially within the Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program. AKHI received our SBA 8(a) certification in December 2015.

AKHI Advantages

  • Expedited Contracting
  • Open Communications
  • Development of Best of Breed Team
  • No Dollar Threshold
  • No Protest
  • DOD Subcontracting Advantage

Alaska Native Claims Act, as amended by 43 U.S.C 1601, et seq. (13 CFR 124.3)

As a SBA ANC 8(a) we are organized under the laws of the State of Alaska in accordance with the Alaska Native Claims Act, as amended by 43 U.S.C 1601, et seq. (13 CFR 124.3)

AKHI is dedicated to providing federal government agencies with a rapid, cost effective procurement process to quickly resolve situations as they may arise. We will provide an efficient contracting mechanism which avoids the timely, costly and complex procurement cycle, thereby providing contracting officers and stakeholders’ savings in time and cost. The SBA 8(a) contracting process is conducted according to the following process:

  1. Once Contracting Officers and Stakeholders determine needed mission requirements and deliverables, they contact the AKHI SBA 8(a) representative and provide project/program requirements.
  2. Our SBA representative will review the project/program, determine capability, and provide the Contracting Officer with an acceptance letter.

Upon receipt of the acceptance letter, the Contracting Officer and AKHI executive management can negotiate and agree to the Statement of Work (SOW) and terms for contract award.

For Business and Teaming Opportunities Contact
Ron Cunningham
Programs Manager
AKHI, LLC
110 W. 38th Avenue, Suite 200H
Anchorage, AK 99503
Email: rcunningham@ahtna.net
Phone 254-760-8259

Alaska Small Business Office Representative
Darryl Sample|
Business Opportunity Specialist
Alaska District Office
420 L Street, Suite 300 | Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: 907.271.4537 | Fax: 202-271-4545 |
Email : Darryl.sample@sba.gov  | www.sba.gov/ak

Corporate and Operations offices

Corporate and operations offices

The SBA ANC 8(a) contracting method avoids a long, often expensive and complex procurement cycle and is significantly faster than any other means of contracting and does not have a contract dollar threshold. When using the ANC 8(a) contracting method, a government customer can simply select AKHI as a suggested, reliable source and submit a request to our SBA representative, asking that the procurement be pursued under the 8(a) program. This avoids the often lengthy, expensive, and tedious process of justifying source selection.

Additionally, because 8(a) companies may subcontract portions of the work to other firms, AKHI is fully capable of assembling the perfect team for a particular project. Open discussion between the government and AKHI will be encouraged during all phases of the procurement process which will assist government project managers with the discretion to define a scope of work and enable AKHI to assemble the best available team to perform all facets of the work.

The U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development 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 Classification System (NAICS) 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 this experience.

Advantages

The 8(a) program is designed to benefit both client and contractor by assisting small, disadvantaged businesses and by providing:

  • The ability to pursue sole-source procurements
  • Limited-competition opportunities in the government arena
  • Assurance that bonding, insurance and other legal requirements will be met

Though sole-source contracts, businesses are given an opportunity to enter the arena of government contracting 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), ANCs 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.

Subcontracting

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 percent.

Contractors develop valuable relationships, while the client benefits from a qualified, experienced, well-rounded team.

13 CFR 124.506(b) and FAR 19.805-1(b)

Alaska Native Corporation-owned 8(a) companies can be awarded sole-source contracts with no competition, and no competitive threshold dollar limitation on the contract amount. The $38.5 million limit does NOT apply to an ANC-owned 8(a) companies; however, a procurement may not be removed from competition to award it to a tribally-owned or ANC-owned concern on a sole-source basis.

13 CFR 124.517 (a)

Contracts that are awarded directly to 8(a)s typically cannot be protested. This is a huge benefit to fast track an important procurement, as the percentages of protested contracts historically are very high. The average time for the protested contract to be opened back up for performance is 3-6 months, with some running into the one year mark. A sole-source can typically be completed in as little as two weeks.

The Indian Incentive Program, which originates from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Buy Indian Act, provides a unique opportunity for prime contractors to receive a 5 percent bonus payment on work subcontracted to Ahtna subsidiaries.

The Indian Incentive Program provides for the payment of 5 percent of the amount subcontracted to an Indian organization or Indian-owned economic enterprise when authorized under the terms of the contract.

DoD contracts with contractors, regardless of company size, containing 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 and provide the maximum practical 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 percent 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.

Eligible recipients

Prime contractors (regardless of size) submit for incentive payments to DoD contracting officers.

Contractor’s request should contain:

  • Cite the use of FAR Clause 52.226-1 and the DoD contract number
  • Copies of pertinent pages of the subcontract
  • Copies of contractor’s invoices
  • Total payment of subcontract and calculation for 5 percent rebate
  • Subcontractor’s status as an Indian-owned economic enterprise

Process for Applying

  • Review and verify documents received
  • Forward request and verification summary for incentive payment to DoD Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (SADBU) Office
  • Provide the company point of contact in supporting offices with an address, telephone number and email address of the person who will receive the funding
  • Provide contact information, email address and telephone number of DoD contracting officer
  • Number of DoD contracting officer
  • For more information about the Indian Incentive Program, contact the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization in Washington, D.C. at: (202) 565-8124

Primary NAICS Code

561210 FACILITIES SUPPORT SERVICES

 

Secondary NAICS Codes

237130 POWER AND COMMUNICATION LINE AND RELATED STRUCTURES CONSTRUCTION

238190 OTHER FOUNDATION, STRUCTURE, AND BUILDING EXTERIOR CONTRACTORS

238210 ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS AND OTHER WIRING INSTALLATION CONTRACTORS

238290 OTHER BUILDING EQUIPMENT CONTRACTORS

238390 OTHER BUILDING FINISHING CONTRACTORS

541330 ENGINEERING SERVICES

541618 OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSULTING SERVICES

541690 OTHER SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL CONSULTING SERVICES

541930 TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION SERVICES

541990 ALL OTHER PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC, AND TECHNICAL SERVICES

561611 INVESTIGATION SERVICES

561612 SECURITY SYSTEMS SERVICES (EXCEPT LOCKSMITHS)

561622 LOCKSMITHS

561720 JANITORIAL SERVICES

611430 PROFESSIONAL AND MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT TRAINING

611519 OTHER TECHNICAL AND TRADE SCHOOLS

611630 LANGUAGE SCHOOLS

611692 AUTOMOBILE DRIVING SCHOOLS

611699 ALL OTHER MISCELLANEOUS SCHOOLS AND INSTRUCTION

611710 EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES

722310 FOOD SERVICE CONTRACTORS

921190 OTHER GENERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

928110 NATIONAL SECURITY

Indian self-determination contracting

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 following findings:

  • The service or 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

When the secretary declines to enter into a self-determination contract, the secretary must:

  • Provide written reasons for rejection
  • Provide technical assistance to overcome the objections
  • Provide a hearing on the record with appeal procedures according to the rules to be developed later by the secretary

The following, Section 103, authorizes the secretary to contract with or make grants or cooperative agreements to Indian tribes upon request. The authorized purposes for these contracts, grants and cooperative agreements include:

  • Strengthening or improving tribal government, which includes planning, financial management, personnel management, development, construction, maintenance or preservation of facilities
  • Planning, training and evaluation activities to improve the capacity of a tribe to contract and manage activities
  • Land acquisitions in connection with the activities described above
  • This section also includes a mandatory technical assistance requirement

When a technical assistance request is made, the secretary must provide the services on a no-cost basis unless there are no federal appropriations. The secretary is required to provide technical assistance to:

  • 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.

Conclusion

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 opportunities.

Ahtna is committed to a safe and productive work environment. Our occupational illness and injury rates are well below the current national average despite working in extreme inclement weather and remote operations. In fact, the Ahtna family of companies currently has an Emergency Modification Rate (EMR) of 0.63, well below the national average for similar industries.

Our site health and safety plans are designed to ensure hazards are identified and mitigated, specific site-safety reviews are continuously conducted, and daily safety and work plans are conducted daily. Our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and specialists bring many years of regulatory compliance experience in all facets of facility and base operations support services, environmental engineering, construction, waste-management, emergency response and other types of safety-related occupations in both government and private-sector arenas.

The Ahtna family of companies has implemented a corporate Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) program designed to oversee every aspect of project development and program operations from document preparation through completion.

The QA/QC program incorporates:

  • Peer reviews
  • Testing methodologies
  • Data reviews
  • Routine calibration of instruments
  • Implementation of a three-phase inspection program
  • Maintenance checks and record keeping logs

Our success is evidenced by Ahtna’s EMR rate of 0.63, as well as our Award of Recognition from the U.S. Navy for “excellent work habits and ethics” for the hazardous and solid-waste removal and disposal project in Adak, Alaska.