IHS Proposes Rule To Improve Buy Indian Act Implementation
Native American Law Partner Phil Baker-Shenk was cited in a Law360 article about proposed regulations released by the Indian Health Service (IHS) intended to boost the number of procurement contracts it awards to Native American-owned and controlled businesses. IHS aims to create a uniform process for implementing the Buy Indian Act, a 1910 law that authorized IHS and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to set aside contracts for qualifying businesses with Native American, tribal or Alaska Native ownership of at least 51%. Mr. Baker-Shenk criticized the proposed rule.
"Why did it take seven years for them to basically copy BIA's regulations, put a couple of exclusions in that are specific to IHS, and think that's going to change their performance?" Mr. Baker-Shenk said. "It's taken another bite at the apple without teeth." The proposal "really doesn't help the individual contracting officer with how to implement it, which is really what's needed," he added.