Significance of an 8(a) Alaskan Native Corporation
You may be wondering, what makes ASRC Federal so special? Why are they unique?
ASRC Federal is the government services subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, an Alaskan Native Corporation (ANC). ANCs were created to settle land claims with Alaska Natives and foster economic development for Alaskan native communities.
As of 1986, ANCs became part of the U.S. Government’s Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) program. This enabled ASRC Federal to bid on set-aside and sole-source contracts, in which federal agencies limit contract competition to contractors that are registered as small, minority and disadvantaged businesses.
ANCs unique rights are extensive within the 8(a) program.They include:
- Tribal and ANC 8(a) firms are eligible to receive sole source 8(a) contracts regardless of dollar size, with no upper limit, while all other 8(a) firms may not receive sole source contracts more than $3 million for services and $5 million for manufacturing.
- While other 8(a) participants are allowed to go through the SBA 8(a) program only once before graduating, ANCs are perennial 8(a) businesses.
- ASRC Federal’s legal entities, or subsidiaries, can be registered as 8(a) businesses for nine years and are then typically replaced by the creation of new 8(a) entities. This explains the company’s revolving door of subsidiaries—the company currently has 32 different subsidiaries.
- In March 2020, the Department of Defense announced that it will not have to issue a justification or obtain approval for the award of a sole-source contract under the 8(a) program for awards up to $100 million, up from the prior $22 million limit.
- This presents a significant opportunity for Tribal, ANCs, and Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHO) to gain large-scale work within the DoD without having to face competition.
Core Federal Customers and Notable Contract Wins
NASA has historically been a core customer in which ASRC Federal invests its resources. In February 2020, they made the strategic hire of George Morrow as the Vice President of Space Strategy. Morrow previously served as the acting director for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Morrow will provide strategic leadership to deepen customer relationships across government agencies and expand ASRC Federal’s space-related capabilities in adjacent markets. He obviously helps to further support ASRC Federal’s business development efforts at Goddard Space Flight Center.
The company has also won key recompete NASA contracts, to include:
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Goddard Space Flight Center, Program Analysis and Control V (PAAC V) – In January 2020, ASRC Federal System Solutions was awarded a five-year, $350 million potential ceiling value IDIQ to provide a range of mission support services. ASRC Federal System Solutions assists NASA in its planning and managing of missions, programs and projects by providing general business, planning and scheduling, earned value management, document management, configuration management and general accounting support.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Ames Consolidated Information Technology Services (ACITS) 4 Contract – In August 2020, ASRC Federal Data Solutions was awarded a five-year, $330 million potential ceiling value contract to provide comprehensive IT services, including support in cloud computing, security, network and communications systems, application management, scientific computing systems, innovation and emerging technologies, to the NASA Ames center in California.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Research and Education Support Services (NRESS-II) Professional Services and IT Support – In December 2020, ASRC Federal Agile Decision Sciences (ADS) was awarded a five-year, $212 million potential ceiling value contract to provide professional services and IT support as part of the NASA Research and Educational Support Services (NRESS) team.
ASRC Federal has a heavy DoD portfolio featuring recent wins such as:
- U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), Case Processing Operations Center (CPOC) Contract – In July 2020, ASRC Federal Professional Services was awarded a five-year, potential $300 million ceiling value contract to provide DCSA with a wide range of solutions including implementing the National Background Investigation System (NBIS) and providing program management, case processing and facility monitoring support.
- U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Unified Cyber Situational Awareness (UCSA) Contract – In May 2021, ASRC Communications was awarded a five-year, $217 million potential ceiling value contract to provide a range of professional services and IT support, including cyber and cloud support.
- U.S. Department of the Air Force, Vance Base Operating Support Services Contract – In March 2021, ASRC Federal Field Services was awarded a seven-year, $457 million potential ceiling value contract to provide the 71st Flying Training Wing located at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma with operations and maintenance services in communications, IT, inventory and supply management, fire and emergency services, etc.
The FedSavvy Strategies Takeaway
- ASRC Federal’s NASA portfolio continues to account for a significant portion of their federal business. This has been further demonstrated through their key recompete wins of ACITS 4, NRESS-II, and PAAC V. Their hire of George Morrow, a former acting director for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, highlights the company’s plans to further expand its presence in GSFC.
- ASRC Federal’s federal business also continues to center on DoD components. They have won several contracts providing base operations, program management, and cyber support to DoD customers. Moreover, effective in March 2020, the DoD will no longer require justification or approval for sole-source awards under the 8(a) program, with a value of up to $100 million. This could enable ASRC Federal and other similar 8(a) businesses to significantly expand their DoD footprint.
- ASRC Federal, like other ANCs and tribal contractors, greatly benefits from their position in the 8(a) program – even more so than other types of 8(a) businesses. Due to their status as an ANC, ASRC Federal is a perennial 8(a) business, can receive sole source 8(a) contracts regardless of dollar size, and can now more easily receive large-scale sole-source contracts from the Department of Defense.
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