Publications online









































(907) 271-2372







The Business of the Denali Commission

The Denali Commission is an independent federal agency with its office in Anchorage, Alaska. Congress created it in 1998 through the Denali Commission Act (P.L. 105-277, 42 U.S.C. § 3121). The agency serves as a national “experimental field station” that explores different possibilities for providing basic facilities in remote Alaskan settlements (clinics, powerhouses, fuel tanks, central places to wash clothes and take a shower).

The served settlements are largely in the “other Alaska” that most visitors from the “Lower 48” never see — far from the roads, the power grid, and the state’s scenic railroad. The untamed Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Koyukuk rivers might be considered the far-west extension of “Route 66,” but all three shifting rivers lack the navigation aids found on the commercial waterways in the rest of the nation.

And the bathroom continues to be a bucket for many residents of “bush” Alaska (outhouses on the tundra often aren’t feasible). From a broader international perspective, the public health conditions of the developing third world are still a reality up here. Denali serves places where the electricity is sometimes, the water is undrinkable, the fuel tanks leak, the food rots, the garbage sits, the teeth fall out, a shower is a treat, and people get diseases that we assumed were history.

Office of Inspector General

Both the Denali Commission Act and the Inspector General Act require the commission to have an inspector general. The commission is one of around 70 federal agencies that are now statutorily required to have this oversight function.

Inspector generals monitor the use of federal money by conducting audits, investigations, and project inspections, including the annual financial audit for their agencies. Results are reported to the agency head and Congress. Inspector generals are by law independent of the operating personnel that implement their agencies' programs.

The Denali Commission's inspector general emphasizes the inspection of projects and processes. These inspections are more than a physical look at a facility and a conversation with its surrounding community. The reports of project inspections ask the toughest questions as to the lessons learned and the public value from constructing facilities under challenging conditions.


Publications Online

Inspection Reports








Port Graham

Red Devil

Sterling Landing

Stony River



Tenakee Springs



Village Resume Project

Selected Contracting Authority Issues

Training event in 2009

Emerging energy technology fund

Semiannual Reports to the Congress

FY 2013, Second Half

FY 2013, First Half

FY 2012, Second Half

FY 2012, First Half

FY 2011, Second Half

FY 2011, First Half

FY 2010, Second Half

FY 2009, Second Half & FY 2010, First Half

FY 2009, First Half

FY 2008, Second Half

FY 2008, First Half

FY 2007, Second Half

FY 2007, First Half

Inspector General's Annual PAR Statement of Manage-ment and Performance Challenges

IG's FY 2012 PAR Statement of Management and Performance Challenges

IG's FY 2011 PAR Statement of Management and Performance Challenges

IG's FY 2010 PAR Statement of Management and Performance Challenges

IG's FY 2007 PAR Statement of Management and Performance Challenges

GAO comptroller general decisions requested by IG








Annual Audits of Agency's Financial Statements

FY 2012 Agency Financial Report

Excerpt from FY 2011 Performance and Accountability Report

Link to Performance and Accountability Reports for prior years


Inspector General

Mike Marsh is the Denali Commission's inspector general. Mike is an attorney, CPA, and certified fraud examiner. His prior experience includes 10 years as an auditor with Alaska's legislative audit division. Before that, he was an assistant municipal attorney in Anchorage and an assistant state's attorney in Illinois. His work as a government attorney includes five years as a prosecutor. He is a graduate of the University of Alaska's MPA program.