A handful of companies consistently cash in on lucrative contracts in Hawaii, a Civil Beat analysis of 10 years of federal contracting data indicates.

The federal government spent $159 billion in contracts in Hawaii over the past 10 years. From that pool of money, the top 10 corporate contractors secured at least $200 million apiece since 2003, with two of them crossing the $1 billion threshold. That’s according to eight years of data from the Census Bureau’s Consolidated Federal Funds Report and two years of data from USASpending.gov, a government-run website that replaced the Census reporting system.

Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of the money Hawaii receives annually is for military projects like jet fuel, ship repair, housing upgrades for troops based in Hawaii and other defense expenditures.

For instance, as Civil Beat previously reported, Hawaii’s $20-billion federal haul last year included $11.6 billion in Homeland Security funds and $2.6 billion for the Department of Defense.

The Texas-based oil company Tesoro tops the list of federal contractors in Hawaii, having scooped up $1.8 billion since 2003. The company, which sells fuel to the Department of Defense in Hawaii, sold its assets in the islands for $539 million earlier this year.

So while Tesoro won’t top the list of federal contracts in the islands next year, you may see Hawaii Independent Energy on that list — that’s the name that Texas-based Par Petroleum gave to the company that it bought from Tesoro, according to Pacific Business News.

Other companies that have seen huge paydays from federal contracting in Hawaii in the past decade include British defense giant BAE Systems ($1.2 billion) and locally owned Nan Inc. construction. Nan’s extraordinary success in garnering federal contracts since it was founded in 1995 prompted a 2003 federal investigation that culminated in owner Patrick Shin pleading guilty to submitting false documents to inflate the cost of a federally contracted repair job by $380,000. Shin was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and sentenced to three years of probation and 12 days in federal prison, according to a 2006 Star-Bulletin story.

But the scandal doesn’t appear to have slowed down Nan’s ascent. The company got $70 million in federal funds last year and $102 million the year before.

Other firms that routinely secure hefty sums include Manu Kai and ITT Systems for their work on Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility; rail contractor Peter Kiewit Sons Inc.; and URS Corporation, which built a $42 million aircraft hangar at Hickam Air Force Base. In the past 10 years, the California-based Bergen Brunswig Drug Company got more than $700 million in federal money to supply pharmaceuticals to Hawaii hospitals and military bases.

Here are the firms that have won the heftiest federal contracts in Hawaii since 2003:

Contractor Federal Dollars in Hawaii Since 2003
Tesoro $1.8 billion
BAE Systems $1.2 billion
Nan Inc. $717 million
Bergen Brunswig Drug Company $654 million
DCK-ECC Pacific Guam LLC $496 million
SAIC Inc. $354 million
ITT Systems Corporation $307 million
Peter Kiewit Sons Inc. $270 million
Manu Kai LLC $249 million
URS Corporation $205 million

In some cases, these sorts of federal contracts span two or more years.

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