Top Secret America in Hawai’i

The Hawaii Independent published an article exploring the Hawai’i connections to the Washington Post series on the growth of secret government programs since 9/11.    An earlier post on this website also discussed the size of the secret government connected to the US Pacific Command.

The Hawaii Independent article reported that of the 127 top secret work locations in Hawai’i, only six could be identified using the Washington Post online database.   These companies include Akimeka, DS Information Systems (DSIS), JTSI Inc, Omega Federation Team, Referentia Systems, and Ventura Technology. The Hawaii Independent reports:

There are odd similarities in all the businesses appearing on Priest and Arkinʻs list. They are all “8(a) companies,” which means they are part of a federal program that aids privately owned companies run by economically and socially disadvantaged individuals. The companies also all aid the military with “advanced technology” support.

Some of the companies are “special” 8(a), Native Hawaiian owned companies that have special advantages in government contracting similar to the advantages given to Native American and Alaska Native Corporations (ANC).   A Government Accounting Office report from June 21 , 2006, entitled “ALASKA NATIVE CORPORATIONS – Increased Use of Special 8(a) Provisions Calls for Tailored Oversight” reported that:

ANC firms are permitted to receive noncompetitive contracts for any amount, whereas other 8(a) companies are subject to competitive thresholds of $3 million or $5 million for manufacturing contracts. ANCs can also own multiple subsidiaries participating in the 8(a) program, 1 unlike other 8(a) firms that may own only one and no more than 20 percent of another 8(a) firm.

These special advantages have led to a proliferation of native owned companies in Hawai’i specializing in securing military contracts.  There has been abuses of this system, whereby the sole source contract advantage of native owned companies has led to these companies becoming fronts for larger contractors to get the subcontracts.

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