“My colleagues want to measure the Indian 8(a) program with a spreadsheet, but bean counters can’t measure self-sufficiency or innovation,” she said.
Currently exempt from a contract cap and classified as “disadvantaged” automatically has brought criticism to the Alaska Native Corporations throughout the hearings.
“When some of my colleagues are dismissive about Alaska Natives being categorized ‘disadvantaged,’” Murkowski said, “they must realize we’re talking about a population, many times, without a road system or water supply system and not just a lump average income statistic.”
At the request of the ANCs, Native American and Hawaiian groups, the 8(a) programs received a number of revisions by the Small Business Administration. These included tightening reporting requirements and raising accountability standards.