Financial Management:

Status of BIA's Efforts to Resolve Long-Standing Trust Fund Management Problems

T-AFMD-92-16: Published: Aug 12, 1992. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) management of the Indian Trust Funds. GAO noted that: (1) BIA has had difficulty in fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility to ensure that proper control and accountability are maintained over each trust fund account; (2) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has placed BIA trust fund accounting on its high-risk list; (3) BIA trust fund management problems are internal and include poorly designed accounting systems, weak internal controls, and untrained staff; (4) the internal weaknesses have prevented BIA from reconciling trust fund accounts and providing statements to account holders; (5) trust fund management problems and needed corrective actions are documented and fully acknowledged by BIA; (6) BIA has initiated various corrective actions, but the same problems continue to arise; and (7) BIA is working on a comprehensive plan to improve trust fund management, but a strategic plan would serve to document the overall approach and actions to be taken.

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