Interior boosts Indian trust reform

Fiscal 2002 budget

The fiscal 2002 budget proposal for the Interior Department directs more money toward information technology for American Indian trust management reform and national parks maintenance.

Within Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, $1 million was added to improve IT resources designed to fix longstanding problems in managing American Indian trust fund accounts, involving about $3 billion in trust funds and 54 million acres of Indian lands.

A major component of Interior's trust reform relies on installing a computer system — the Trust Asset Accounting and Management System (TAAMS) — that can keep track of land titles and leases, as well as work with the department's already deployed Trust Fund Accounting System.

At the National Park Service, President Bush's budget request focuses on reducing the maintenance backlog throughout the 384-park system. Included is a request for an additional $1.7 million to implement a comprehensive facility maintenance management system, which is designed to provide an accurate list of priority maintenance projects, among other functions.

Within the U.S. Geological Survey, Bush seeks a reduction in funding for information infrastructure expansion to fiscal 2000 levels. The budget also requests reducing USGS information-delivery programs, such as Internet-based access to cartographic and geographic data, by $13 million in order to "conserve funding for core, on-the-ground activities," according to the Interior budget briefing book.

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