Alaska Native News: AFN Praises the Passage of S. 1790 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020

The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) congratulated U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan for his work on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young for voting in favor of passing the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2020. The NDAA authorizes $738 billion in critical defense spending and includes many provisions introduced by Senator Sullivan that positively impact Alaska and Alaska Natives. One provision spearheaded by Senator Sullivan remedies a discriminatory contracting requirement that applied only to businesses owned by American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, Alaska Native corporations and Native Hawaiian organizations. Section 811, included in FY 2010 NDAA, has negatively impacted the ability of our Native entities to obtain sole-source contracts with values in excess of $22 million (inflation-adjusted from $20 million). 

“AFN appreciates that Senator Sullivan heard the concerns of these key Alaskan businesses,” said Julie Kitka, AFN President. “We commend him for getting the provision in the bill and Senator Murkowski and Congressman Young for voting in support of the NDAA.”

Section 811 in the NDAA requires any 8(a) Native American sole-source contract, in excess of $20 million, go through an overly burdensome approval process. Senator Sullivan’s provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 requires the Department of Defense to remove overly burdensome restrictions enacted in 2009 and raised the $22 million dollar threshold to $100 million by delegating the approval for these contracts to the head of the procuring activity, or their designee.

The Senate passed the NDAA 86-8 on December 16, 2019, which passed the House last week. The NDAA of 2020 will be sent to the President to sign into law.

Source: Alaska Native News