Controls Are Needed Over Indian Self-Determination Contracts, Grants, and Training and Technical Assistance Activities To Insure Required Services Are Provided to Indians

CED-78-44: Published: Feb 15, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 1978.

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The Indian Self-Determination Act called for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to contract with Indian tribes to assume responsibility for planning, conducting, and administering programs and services provided by BIA.

BIA does not have adequate controls over contracts and grants awarded to the tribes or the related training and technical assistance activities. BIA has not met the legislative mandate to supervise tribal performance even though self-determination contracts and grants in fiscal year 1977 accounted for about 25% of its budget for the operation of Indian programs. Contracts and grants were awarded retroactively, and adequate criteria for measuring performance were not always included. Also, supervision and monitoring of performance were not effective, and BIA has not developed a management reporting system which would help control activities related to individual contracts and grants and the use of assistance funds. BIA guidelines are not adequate for defining employee responsibilities in supervising and monitoring contracts. An example of management deficiency was the award of a $4 million contract to a tribe to operate a higher education scholarship program even though tribal auditors reported that the tribe had not been able to operate the program properly. BIA has permitted the use of training and technical assistance funds for activities other than those intended by legislation.

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