Interior looking for outside help

Nearly four months after unveiling its plan to account for money owed to American Indians, the Interior Department is looking for outside help.

Interior's Office of Historical Trust Accounting issued a request for proposals Oct. 25 through GovWorks on FedBizOpps.gov, seeking expert knowledge and historical research.

The massive bookkeeping project is an outgrowth of the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994, which mandates that the department keep track of all funds held in trust for American Indians.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth directed Interior to initiate an accounting in 1999 - three years after five landowners filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 500,000 individual Indian trust beneficiaries, alleging that as much as $10 billion is lost or missing because of federal mismanagement, including a failed computer system.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton established the Office of Historical Trust Accounting in July 2001 to handle the matter. The following February, the department issued an RFP for the development and implementation of a plan to conduct an individual accounting, which it later said would cost $2.4 billion and would take several years to complete. In June, the project was expanded to include a tribal accounting, according to the latest solicitation.

The office expects to award a one-year contract with two optional year-long extensions to one or more parties for support, research, analysis and documentation services. Proposals are due Nov. 12.

As a result of treaties conducted in the 19th century, Interior holds about 11 million acres in trust or restricted status for individual American Indians, and nearly 45 million for tribes. The department is responsible for leasing the lands and paying revenues to individual and tribal accounts.

Finding them "unfit trustee-delegates," Lamberth held the Office of the Secretary of the Interior in contempt in September. Interior officials must submit a revised strategy for trust reform to the U.S. court by Jan. 6, 2003. The trial resumes May 1, 2003.

Featured

  • Management
    people standing on keyboard (Who is Danny/Shutterstock.com)

    OPM-GSA merger plan detailed in legislative proposal

    The White House is proposing legislation for a dramatic overhaul of human resources inside government and wants $50 million to execute the plan.

  • Cloud
    cloud applications (chanpipat/Shutterstock.com)

    GSA plans civilian DEOS counterpart

    GSA is developing a cloud email and enterprise services contract inspired by the single-source vehicle the Department of Defense devised for back-office software.

  • Defense
    software (whiteMocca/Shutterstock.com)

    DOD looks to unify software spending for 2020

    Defense Department acquisition head, Ellen Lord, hopes to simplify software buying and improve business systems following the release of the Defense Innovation Board's final software acquisition study.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.