Neal McCaleb criticizes Tex Hall and Judge Lamberth
Friday, March 19, 2004

Former assistant secretary Neal McCaleb was critical of National Congress of American Indians President Tex Hall and U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in an interview with The Native American Times.

McCaleb said Hall is wrong to question the Bush administration's reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs as one done without tribal consultation. "I'm not saying we had consensus but we have tremendous input," he said. "Tex himself spent months of his personal time in late '01 and '02 and we had two meetings a month from Alaska to the Southern states to the West Coast. Tex and I were co-chairmen of these events, and I am amazed that his point is that there hasnít been any meaningful input."

McCaleb said he was "surprised" that Lamberth ordered a shutdown of Interior's Internet connection. "I'm not an expert in computers, but I do know this: Microsoft is vulnerable, and I donít know why we expect the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be completely invulnerable when the operating system they are based on is vulnerable," he said.

"Computer security is a hoax," he added.

Contrary to McCaleb's assertion, many of the BIA's leasing, oil and gas and other payment systems are not based on Microsoft but on "legacy" operating systems and programming languages. For example, the Integrated Records Management System (IRMS), which leases and distributes payments to account holders, is based on technology from the 1970s and 1980s.

McCaleb also told The Native American Times he would not have stepped down had he not been held in contempt of court.

Get the Story:
McCaleb on BIA, DOI computer shutdown and Tex Hall (The Native American Times 3/18)

Court Decisions:
Memorandum Opinion | Preliminary Injunction

GAO Report:
Departmental Leadership Crucial to Success of Investment Reforms at Interior (September 2003)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice -
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -

Related Stories:
DOI says Internet shutdown affects BIA schools (3/18)
Judge orders DOI shutdown of Internet connections (3/16)
Computer shutdown applies to all DOI systems (3/16)
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Anderson praises Cobell suit in NCAI speech (2/25)
Lamberth orders DOI to turn over IT reports (12/12)
DOI fares poorly on computer security report card (12/11)
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BIA incident prompts high-level recommendation (03/27)
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BIA aides circumventing court (12/16)
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BIA aides e-mail use prompts inquiry (12/17)
McCaleb admits to e-mail 'misunderstanding' (10/23)
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McCaleb gets new computer official (6/5)
Retaliation charged as BIA official jumps ship (7/25)

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