Alaska Native Trust Funds

AIMD-97-55R: Published: Feb 27, 1997. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on Alaska Native trust funds, focusing on: (1) whether all Alaska tribal accounts had been reconciled and reports on reconciliation results had been sent to the tribes; (2) whether tribes and individual account holders were receiving account statements; and (3) the number, size, and revenue sources for the Individual Indian Moneys (IIM) accounts.

GAO noted that: (1) Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians officials told GAO that no Alaska Native tribal trust accounts that had balances at any time during fiscal years (FY) 1973 through 1992 were excluded from the reconciliation work performed by Arthur Andersen, LLP, the Bureau of Indian Affairs' contractor; (2) as of September 30, 1996, the Office of Trust Fund Management (OTFM) reported that it was administering 1,276 Alaska Native IIM accounts with an aggregate value of about $11.16 million; (3) according to OTFM officials, of the 1,276 Alaska Native IIM accounts that OTFM was administering on September 30, 1996, OTFM lacked address information for 13 account holders and sent the monthly account statements for an additional 303 individual IIM accounts to the trust accountant in the Juneau area office; (4) according to information provided by OTFM, 13 of the 1,276 Alaska Native Trust Fund IIM accounts were designated in OTFM's system as "whereabouts unknown"; (5) OTFM's analysis of the Juneau area database showed that sources of revenue for Alaska Native IIM trust fund accounts for fiscal year 1996 included: (a) range and lease rental income ($1,580); (b) interest income ($1.676 million); (c) land sales by individuals ($9.278 million); and (d) other payments ($4.559 million); (6) according to information provided by OTFM, on September 30, 1996, OTFM was administering Alaska Native IIM accounts with balances ranging from less than $0 to over $100,000; and (7) according to information provided by OTFM, one OTFM employee has been employed within the Department of the Interior outside of OTFM and its predecessor organizational units, and that previous position included duties relating to Alaska Native trust fund IIM or tribal accounts.

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