Indian Trust Funds:
Individual Indian Accounts
GAO-02-970T: Published: Jul 25, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2002.
This testimony summarizes previous GAO work that identified gaps in information needed to reconcile Individual Indian Moneys (IIM) trust accounts, and the rationale that led GAO to suggest that the Department of the Interior seek alternatives to reconciliation, such as a negotiated agreement. Congress established an Indian trust fund account reconciliation requirement in the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1987 in response to tribal concerns that (1) Interior had not consistently provided them with statements on their account balances, (2) their trust fund accounts had never been reconciled, and (3) Interior planned to contract with a third party for management of trust fund accounts. There are many obstacles that will complicate Interior's ability to document the amount and source of funds deposited to, managed in, and disbursed from their IIM accounts. Interior's July 2002 report enumerates among those obstacles known discrepancies in the balances, at the trust fund level, reported by Treasury and Interior, as well as the potential for (1) errors in the electronic accounting system data, (2) missing paper transaction records, and (3) missing land ownership information and revenue instruments.