Bureau of Indian Affairs' Contract for Management and Operations of Indian Trust Funds

T-OGC-90-2: Oct 26, 1989

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) contract award for management and operation of its Indian trust funds, focusing on whether BIA: (1) conducted the procurement under automatic data processing (ADP) acquisition rules; and (2) had the authority to contract when public funds disbursement was legally the government's responsibilty. GAO noted that BIA: (1) failed to designate the services as ADP and did not obtain a delegation of procurement authority prior to award; (2) had the authority to award a management contract to a third party, assuming that the contractor's role was merely administrative; and (3) concluded that the trust funds were designated for specific individuals or private entities, as such, were not public funds.