1. REPORTS: U.S. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
– TRIBAL PROGRAMS: ACTIONS NEEDED TO IMPROVE INTERIOR’S MANAGEMENT OF TRUST SERVICES
In 2020, the Department of the Interior created the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA) within Indian Affairs to take over financial management of trust funds and functions from the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST). Interior transferred OST employees to BTFA and is using OST’s appropriations for BTFA. However, to date, congressional appropriations committees continue to make appropriations for OST rather than for BTFA.
OST was established by the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (1994 Reform Act) to oversee and coordinate reform efforts related to Interior’s trust responsibilities. Congress needs certain information from Interior to decide whether to continue OST or to approve another office, such as BTFA, to manage the trust funds. However, Interior’s interpretation of the act is that providing some of this information risks triggering the act’s statutory termination process for OST. Interior officials said terminating OST could leave Interior without a congressionally approved office or available appropriation to manage the trust funds, risking a breach of the federal government’s duty to beneficiaries. For the purposes of this report, GAO is not taking a position on Interior’s position. Unless Congress amends the statutory termination process in section 302(c), it may not receive the information it needs to make decisions regarding OST and future management of the trust funds.
Interior’s transfer of trust functions from OST to BTFA generally followed some, but not all, selected leading practices for agency reforms. For example, Interior established a team responsible for implementing the transfer but did not develop a strategic workforce plan. Developing a strategic workforce plan would help Interior, going forward, to better understand the resources it needs to manage trust funds, especially as demand for beneficiary services continues to increase.
2. WEBINAR: MOSS ADAMS: SPRING 2023 NOT-FOR-PROFIT ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING UPDATE
Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 10:00 AM PT
Having a strong understanding of key regulatory developments and their potential effects on the not-for-profit sector is critical to navigate your organization’s accounting and reporting requirements.
Join Moss Adams for a webcast, Spring 2023 Not-for-Profit Accounting and Auditing Update. Speakers will address changes to auditing and accounting standards and how they could impact your not-for-profit organization. We’ll also discuss updates from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and other key topics, such as:
- Upcoming accounting standard updates and potential effects on financial statements
- Accounting, controls, and key considerations before investing, receiving, or transacting in cryptocurrency
- Accounting industry updates
3. FROM THE NAFOA NAVIGATOR: GRANTMAKING TO SUPPORT A MORE EQUITABLE AND PROSPEROUS FUTURE FOR NATIVE AMERICANS
By Tim Rios, Rural Strategy Leader, Philanthropy & Community Impact, Wells Fargo
When you look at a map outlining reservation lands, you will notice the physical boundaries to which the once strong Tribal nations are now confined. It is a visual reminder of years of systemic barriers that have left underdeveloped, underbanked, and underserved Tribal economies.
In recent years, Wells Fargo has committed more than $70 million to address the barriers affecting economic prosperity in Indian Country. First, in 2017 with an initial $50 million commitment over five years and again in 2023 through a new initiative called “Invest Native” with an additional $20 million commitment.
In 2017, Wells Fargo’s $50 million commitment addressed the unique social, economic, and environmental needs in Native communities. The company fulfilled this financial promise in 2022, working with Native-serving organizations in 38 states to strengthen housing, small business, financial health, education and more in Native communities.
4. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: HHS ANNOUNCES $2.5 MILLION FOR PRODUCE PRESCRIPTION PROGRAMS IN INDIAN COUNTRY
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Indian Health Service agency, is announcing the availability of $2.5 million in funding to support the development of produce prescription programs in Native communities. Produce prescription programs help individuals and families who are experiencing food insecurity and/or diet‑related health problems more easily obtain fresh fruits and vegetables by receiving a prescription from a health care provider. Launching these programs in Native communities will support the Administration’s efforts to reduce food insecurity and improve their health outcomes among American Indian and Alaska Native people by increasing their access to fresh produce and other healthy traditional foods.
5. JOBS: FEDERATED INDIANS OF GRATON RANCHERIA IS SEEKING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF TRIBAL ADMINISTRATION
The Executive Director of Tribal Administration (EDTA) oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of the Tribal Office. The EDTA provides leadership to tribal government staff and ensures effective and efficient management of governmental functions and programs. The EDTA reports to the Tribal Council and implements Tribal Council’s initiatives, programs, policies and projects.
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