Alaska Department of Administration, Juneau, will search for a record keeper and consultant next year for its new defined contribution plan for public employees and teachers. The search will be open to all providers and will take place before the plan opens to participants on July 1, 2006, said Kathy Lea, retirement manager for the department. A bill to create the 401(a) plan for employees hired after July 1, 2005, was approved by the Alaska Legislature earlier this month and is expected to be signed by Gov. Frank H. Murkowski in the next few weeks. Great-West Life, provider for the state's $420 million deferred compensation plan, has a one-year contract to provide record-keeping and consulting services and to assist in starting the new plan.