Bureau of Indian Affairs

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Open Recommendations (6 total)

Federal Personal Property: Better Internal Guidance and More Action from GSA Are Needed to Help Agencies Maximize Use of Excess

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Indian Affairs The Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs should ensure that internal guidance on considering excess personal property incorporates, at a minimum, the requirement to consider excess property, relevant roles and responsibilities, when it is practicable to check for and obtain excess property, and how to evaluate the suitability of excess property for meeting agency needs. (Recommendation 1)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Alaska Native Issues: Federal Agencies Could Enhance Support for Native Village Efforts to Address Environmental Threats

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Indian Affairs The BIA Director should review BIA's programs identified in this report and, where the agency determines it feasible and appropriate, implement relevant changes to address program characteristics that are not established in statute that pose obstacles to Alaska Native villages' obtaining assistance, including characteristics we identified and others that BIA may identify. BIA should also document its review, any related consultation with tribes, and any changes made to its programs. (Recommendation 3)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In comments on our draft report, the Department of the Interior stated that BIA would review and seek avenues to enhance program characteristics that remedy obstacles identified in our report. We will continue to monitor the department's actions in response to this recommendation and evaluate them when complete.
Bureau of Indian Affairs The BIA Director should identify options for providing additional technical assistance that is specifically designed to help Alaska Native villages navigate and obtain assistance from the variety of potentially available federal programs, including by assessing how BIA prioritizes its available resources. (Recommendation 1)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In comments on our draft report, the Department of the Interior stated that BIA has identified new avenues to provide technical assistance and support to Alaska Native villages. We will continue to monitor the department's actions in response to this recommendation and evaluate them when complete.

Indian Energy Service Center: Support Activities Have Been Provided, but Goals and Performance Measures Should Be Defined

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Indian Affairs The Director of the Indian Energy Service Center should establish performance goals and related outcome-oriented performance measures, where feasible, based on the specific strategic goals. (Recommendation 2)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

in commenting on this report, BIA agreed with the recommendation. In a 2022 meeting, Service Center officials said that they would work to establish performance goals and related performance measures. We will continue to monitor agency progress in addressing this recommendation.
Bureau of Indian Affairs The Director of the Indian Energy Service Center should clearly state the specific strategic goals for the Service Center, identifying what is to be achieved. (Recommendation 1)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In commenting on this report, BIA agreed with the recommendation. In a 2022 meeting, Service Center officials said they would clarify the strategic goals of the Service Center by the end of the year. We will continue to monitor progress in addressing this recommendation.

Indian Programs: Interior Should Address Factors Hindering Tribal Administration of Federal Programs

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Indian Affairs The Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs should develop a process that results in consistent determinations for inherently federal functions and to provide documentation to tribes on specific activities and functions determined to be inherently federal. (Recommendation 2)
Open

 Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

In December 2019, the Secretary of Interior issued a Secretarial Order asking the Office of the Solicitor to develop a list of contractible functions and activities for Indian oil and gas activities--and a list of "inherently federal functions" that are not available. In February 2020, the Office of Solicitor completed its review of the functions and developed a list of inherently federal functions and a list of federal functions and activities for Indian oil and gas activities that are contractible. In April 2021, Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Affairs officials said they would study developing a process that would result in consistent determinations for inherently federal functions for other federal functions and activities. In August, 2021, Indian Affairs officials said that they do not have a list of inherently federal functions beyond the oil and gas activities, nor an oversight process that reviews awarding officials' determinations for inherently federal functions for consistency across BIA. Indian Affairs officials said that awarding officials' determinations on inherently federal functions should be consistent due to their training and said that they would provide a copy of this training to us. As of July, 2022, we have not yet received documentation of Interior's training materials or guidance outlining the steps Interior takes to ensure that awarding officials' determinations are consistent across regions. We will continue to monitor Interior's implementation of this recommendation.