FROM THE ARCHIVE

Court monitor releases new report

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THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2002

The Indian trust fund monitor today released a report on the Department of Interior's historical accounting project.

Court monitor Joseph S. Kieffer III questioned the department's commitment to the effort, which is required by law and was ordered by a federal judge. "The result of this exercise, on its face, casts doubt on both defendants' ability to conduct the historical accounting and their sincerity regarding any legitimate effort to try," he wrote.

Kieffer says the Office of Historical Trust Accounting, in a recent report, and Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles, in testimony to Congress, "exhibit a remarkable lack of knowledge about and understanding of the legal and fiduciary trust standards under which a trustee must conduct accountings for beneficiaries."

Kieffer points to Griles' appearance before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. On June 18, he was asked to define the department's trust standards but insisted he could not, because he was "not a lawyer."

Get the Report:
8th Court Monitor Report (7/11)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Trust Reform, NCAI - http://www.ncai.org/main/pages/
issues/other_issues/trust_reform.asp

Related Stories:
LA Times focuses on Cobell lawsuit (7/8)
Norton delivers accounting plan (7/5)
Griles can't explain trust standards (6/27)