Internal Controls:

Bureau of Indian Affairs' Section 638 Contracts With Tribal Organizations

RCED-89-185FS: Published: Aug 18, 1989. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information regarding the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) improvements of controls over section 638 contracts it awarded to tribal organizations to help them participate in planning and administering federal services, programs, and activities.

GAO found that a 1981 review of BIA controls identified such internal control problems as retroactive contract awards, lack of measurable performance criteria in contracts, and inadequate contract monitoring, financial systems, and property management. GAO also found that its review of 100 fiscal year 1988 contracts and the three BIA offices awarding those contracts revealed that: (1) the start dates for 93 contracts were the same, or later than, the award date; (2) all 100 contracts had measurable performance criteria; (3) 93 contract files did not include all the required performance monitoring reports, and 59 files had no reports at all; (4) one office did not maintain current financial records to ensure that tribal organizations' withdrawals covered only immediate needs and did not result in excess cash on hand; and (5) all three offices did not properly identify or inventory government property, and three of four tribal organizations reviewed did not maintain inventory records by contract.

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