Alaskan Tribes Score No-Bid Bonanza

Sen. Ted Stevens under scrutiny for shady contracts
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2007 6:52 AM CDT
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska gestures during an interview with The Associated Press, Thursday, April 12,2007, in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Alaskan tribes are so successful in securing no-bid government contracts, they're spurring a federal investigation into conduct by Alaskan senator Ted Stevens, reports Salon. In 1986, Stevens pushed through a law that gave Alaskan companies "small business" preferences—even if they belong to a multi-billion dollar parent corporation and employ no natives.

The contracts have grown five-fold during the Bush administration, to more than a billion. This spring, an Eskimo firm based 180 miles north of the Arctic Circle won a no-bid contract to provide meals to anti-cocaine enforcers in Bolivia, costing US taxpayers $1M more a year than the Bolivian firm that preceded it.