Justice and Law Enforcement:

Federal Management Weaknesses Cry Out for Alternatives To Deliver Programs and Services to Indians To Improve Their Quality of Life

CED-78-166: Published: Oct 31, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1978.


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During the last decade, there has been increasing congressional activity with the goal of improving the quality of life of Indians. Recent GAO reports have shown the need for greater Federal efforts to meet this goal. A Bureau of Indian Affairs Reorganization Task Force concluded in its March 1978 report that a general management crisis pervades the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

In spite of recommendations by GAO and other groups dealing with Indian affairs, Federal agencies have failed to correct weaknesses in their management of programs and services to Indians. These weaknesses have led to needless suffering by Indians and to increased administrative costs. The following weaknesses were noted in BIA and other Federal programs and services: the need for effective supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of Federal and tribal performance to assure effective use of funds; lack of a defined role for some Federal agencies; the need for training and technical assistance for tribal governments; lack of agency coordination; and shortages of funds and staff.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Matter for Congressional Consideration

    Matter: The Congress should consider the following alternatives for delivering programs and services to Indians: consolidate all federally administered Indian programs and services into a single agency, consolidate Indian programs and services into the Federal agency having primary responsibility for overall Federal program areas, have all Federal agencies funnel their Indian program funds through one agency rather than directly to Indian tribes, or assist tribes in developing the capability to manage all Federal programs and services and provide direct funding through block grants.

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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