The Tepa Companies are certified small businesses, 100% tribally owned by the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California. Contracting with tribally-owned small businesses brings significant benefits to clients, including saving time and money during the acquisition process.
Five of the Tepa Companies are in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program, which offers the following contracting advantages:
- Sole-source contracting that eliminates the time and cost of market research, acquisition strategies, solicitation, proposal review and contractor selection
- Sole-source contracting above the $4M threshold (13CFR §124.506(b))
- Sole-source contracting up to $22M without justification and authorization (13CFR §124.506(b)(5))
- Contract awards that cannot be protested (13CFR §124.517(a))
As tribally-owned small businesses, the five 8(a) Tepa Companies are exempt from the competitive $4 million sole-source contracting limit placed on other 8(a) certified small businesses. The exemption opens up opportunities to negotiate sole-source contracts that maximize our clients’ organizational benefits, meet their financial expectations, accomplish their missions and establish invaluable partnerships.
Sole-source contracting expedites delivery of services and eliminates the need for government contracting officers to execute a costly and time-consuming full acquisition process. Because sole-source contracts cannot be protested, the Tepa Companies’ experienced technical and management staff can begin performing the contracted services immediately.
Indian Incentive Program
The U.S. government provides a monetary incentive through its Indian Incentive Program (25 U.S.C. §1544) to eligible prime contractors for hiring Native American-owned companies like the Tepa Companies as subconsultants. The program:
- Offers up to 5% of the amount paid to the Tepa Companies returned to the prime contractor after work is completed
- Requires authorization in the contract
- Requires the funds be expended
The Buy Indian Act
The U.S. government gives the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) the authority to set aside procurement contracts for Indian-owned and controlled businesses through The Buy Indian Act (25 U.S.C. §47). The Buy Indian Act regulations are included in the Department of the Interior Acquisition Regulations (DIAR) part 1480. The National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and other bureaus in the Department of the Interior may also be authorized to set aside procurement contracts under this Act.
The Buy Indian regulations give preference, where authorized and applicable, to the hiring of Native American employees and purchasing of products, supplies and services from eligible Indian Economic Enterprises (IEE). The Tepa Companies are eligible Indian Economic Enterprises.