FROM THE ARCHIVE

Trust fund report still missing in action

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2001

Update: The Department of Interior has created a new "Indian Trust Assets Management" web site on its main server. The heavily anticipated EDS report is among the few documents posted. Visit the site at http://indiantrust.doi.gov.

The Department of Interior still hasn't made widely available a trust fund report for which Secretary of Interior Gale Norton paid nearly $3 million even though her second-in-command said it was already on the department's web site.

Last Wednesday, Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles, who said in a sworn court testimonial he is in charge of trust reform, told tribal leaders the report was published online. The department has subsequently admitted the document is not where he said it would be.

Interior communications director Eric Ruff said yesterday he hoped the document would be online sometime yesterday or possibly today.

The report has been of considerable interest but the overwhelming majority of tribal leaders have been unable to get a copy for various reasons. Members of the Inter-Tribal Monitoring Association on Indian Trust Funds said they asked Griles for it but were told they couldn't have it.

Five pages of the report are deemed confidential because they deal with computer security.

The report was prepared by EDS Corporation, who was originally only supposed to get paid $900,000 to assess two failing trust reform projects. But Norton expanded the company's contract to include all aspects of trust.

In a set of recommendations issued October 30, EDS said the department should "immediately appoint a single, accountable, trust reform executive sponsor," first reported by Indianz.Com on November 7. Norton based the new Bureau of Indian Trust Assets Management on this suggestion.

Today on Indianz.Com:
McCaleb doubts tribal opposition (12/4)
GOP push may be tied to Indian preference (12/4)
Indian leader happy for contempt trial (12/4)

Relevant Links:
Office of the Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Trust Management Improvement Project - http://www.doi.gov/bia/trust/tmip.htm
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com

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