FROM THE ARCHIVE
Interior won't detail 'transition' costs
Facebook Twitter Email
MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2002

Although Secretary of Interior Gale Norton has backed off plans to create an Indian trust agency and says no funds are being used to implement it, her department won't detail how much money is being spent in transition costs, officials said.

Citing privacy and personnel issues, department officials are declining to release information associated with the Office of Indian Trust Transition. Norton created the office last November and put former Assistant Secretary Ross Swimmer in charge.

At the time, Swimmer's major duty was to pave the way for the Bureau of Indian Trust Assets Management (BITAM). But while those plans are on held pending consultation with Indian Country, he has taken up a number of other duties and has been assigned department personnel.

According to court documents, Swimmer has oversight of the $40 million Trust Accounting and Asset Management System (TAAMS), a related TAAMS subproject and probate. The three projects are being managed by Donna Erwin, an employee of the Office of the Special Trustee (OST).

Swimmer's other duty is to create a "strategic plan" for trust reform. Under a 1994 law, the Special Trustee is responsible for the plan but Norton has assigned Swimmer to the task.

Congress has refused to "reprogram" $200 million in Bureau of Indian Affairs funds and $100 million in OST funds to a new trust agency. Associate Deputy Secretary Jim Cason told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee last week that the department intended to transfer money from other bureaus, offices and agencies had Congress not stepped in.

Today on Indianz.Com:
Norton in full damage control mode (3/4)

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://130.94.214.68/main/pages/
issues/other_issues/trust_reform.asp

Related Stories:
New trust reform contract draws complaints (3/1)
BITAM comments still accepted (3/1)
Key trust reform player leaving BIA (2/28)
McCaleb says Cobell a 'blessing' (2/28)
Tribes to hold Indian trust forum (2/28)
Pot chairman supports Swimmer (2/28)
Senate takes shot at trust fund (2/27)
Sharon Blackwell leaving BIA (2/27)
Norton retreats on BITAM proposal (2/26)
NCAI's Hall still doubts Norton (2/26)
Daschle: 'Significant' questions on BITAM (2/26)
Norton admits BITAM not only solution (2/25)
ICT: Norton axes 'superior' comment (2/25)
Tribes again criticize BITAM (2/15)
Senate panel grills Griles on trust fund (2/13)
Swimmer legacy haunts BIA (2/12)
Congress urged to act on failed trust act (2/11)
Dog and pony show moves to Congress (2/7)
Norton dodges questions on Internet shutdown (2/7)
Norton goes before House panel (2/7)
Editorial: Take trust from Interior (2/7)
Tribes take assault to Congress (2/6)
Judge rejects 'improper' request by Norton (2/6)
Trust drives small increase in BIA budget (2/5)
Interior security funds outlined (2/5)
Monitor's 'only hope' seen as termination (2/4)
Memo sounded early warning on TAAMS (2/4)
Indian Country lacks confidence in Norton (2/4)
On the Indian trust bandwagon (2/4)
No light at end of Interior tunnel (2/4)
Norton's weekend in the woods (2/1)
Norton sketches trust reform budget (2/1)

Stay Connected
Contact
Search
Most Read
News Archive
2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

About This Page

You are enjoying stories from the Indianz.Com Archive, a collection dating back to 2000. Some outgoing links may no longer work due to age.

All stories are available for publishing via Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)