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Criminal inquiries into royalty collection at DOI


The Justice Department has launched two criminal inquiries into royalty collection at the Interior Department, The New York Times reports.

One inquiry involves Interior officials in Denver who manage the Minerals Management Service's royalty in kind program [RIK Site]. RIKs are royalties in the form of oil and gas rather than in financial payments.

The focus of the second inquiry is not clear but it is related to royalty collection, the paper said. Inspector General Earl Devaney, who is conducting other investigations into MMS leases, is participating.

MMS collected $8 billion in oil and gas royalties for drilling on federal and Indian lands. The agency sends the money to the Office of Special Trustee and the Bureau of Indian Affairs for distribution to Indian beneficiaries.

Get the Story:
Criminal Inquiries Look at U.S. Oil-Gas Unit (The New York Times 12/15)
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Inspector General Report:
Minerals Management Service's Compliance Review Process (December 2006)

GAO Letter:
Suggested Areas for Oversight for the 110th Congress (November 17, 2006)

Inspector General Testimony:
Devaney Interior Department: A Culture of Managerial Irresponsibility and Lack of Accountability? (September 2006)

Inspector General Report:
Allegations Concerning Senior Officials of the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Government Accountability Office:
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov

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