Interior Awards Contract to Evaluate BIA & BIE Support Services


Woman-Owned Small Business Bronner Group Selected


06/28/2011


Contact: Nedra Darling (ASIA) 202-219-4150
Drew Malcomb (PMB) 202-208-6301

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior (DOI) has awarded a contract to Bronner Group, LLC, a small, woman-owned business based in Chicago that specializes in consulting with government and the public sector. The contract for more than $400,000 is on behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and is to conduct an evaluation of their support services. Bronner will assist the Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs as he oversees a review of functions that support the two bureaus and suggest improvements.

David Hayes signs a contract
Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes signs the contract for services with the Bronner Group, a woman-owned small business, as Interior's Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk (L) and Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh look on.
(DOI photo by Gary Garrison)

DOI Deputy Secretary David Hayes earlier this week gathered with Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk and Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh to sign the notification. “It’s vital that we support small businesses and the jobs they create and sustain,” Hayes said. “I’m pleased to report that Interior has a strong record in that regard. We have spent more than half of our contracting dollars this year with small businesses -- almost $630 million. The Interior Department knows the value of small businesses to the nation and to the economy. We support their success in every way we can.”

In 1999, the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) conducted a study of BIA’s management, organizational structure and administration to identify and recommend remedies to improve quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness. Subsequent to issuance of the report, BIA was restructured and several support functions began reporting to the Office of the Assistant Secretary.

“I congratulate the Bronner Group, Ltd., on being awarded this contract, and look forward to working with them,” Echo Hawk said. “This will be an important opportunity to see how the management of Indian Affairs’ administrative functions can be improved for the betterment of the tribes and communities we serve.”

It has been more than ten years since the NAPA study was issued and the realignment process began. The Bronner Group will assess the current state of operations to evaluate if the changes were accomplished and what effect they have had on regional and field operations, and impact on the tribes that Indian Affairs serves.

“Small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy so it’s important that they thrive,” Suh said. “This is an example of the Interior Department’s credo that small and disadvantaged businesses should be provided the maximum opportunity to participate in the agency's contracting process.”

With the award, Indian Affairs will begin the process of communicating with employees and tribes to ensure participation in this project.

"As a national woman-owned small business with over 24 years of experience providing professional services in the public sector, we are very pleased to have been chosen to conduct an evaluation of the support functions that service the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs," Gila J. Bronner,
President and CEO of Bronner Group, LLC said.

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