Summary: BIA / OST Fiscal Year 2002 Budget Proposa
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APRIL 10, 2001

Highlights of the Department of Interior's proposed fiscal year 2002 budget for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Special Trustee.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) budget request is $2.2 billion, $65.9 million over 2001. This is a 3.1 percent increase.

The budget request for the Office of Special Trustee, financially responsible for tribal and individual trust funds, is $110.2 million. This is $8.8 million less than 2001 because there are still funds left over from a $27.5 million supplemental request approved by Congress last year.

Considered high priority by the administration, the school construction request is $292.5 million, an increase of $514,000 from 2001.

Of this amount, $122.8 million will go to six priority schools. A request of $5 million has been made for advanced planning and design of these six schools as well.

The amount also includes $161.6 million to address health, safety, and standard issues at other schools, $13.6 million over 2001.

Separate from construction, the Indian Education Program request is $543 million, $16.6 million over 2001. Most of this request ($504 million) is for the BIA's 185 secondary and elementary schools, serving 50,000 Indian students in 23 states.

The tribal college request is $39.1 million. It includes $4.5 million for the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Education is 31 percent of the BIA's Indian Programs budget.

Distributed to more than 550 tribes, TPA funds are key to the federal self-determination policy. The 2002 request is $750.5 million, an increase of $17.5 million.

Programs associated with trust management are responsible for $7 million of the increase. The programs include real estate appraisal and probate.

Of the overall TPA request, $130.2 million goes for contract support funds, which falls 12 percent short of the total identified need.

The Welfare Assistance program is being cut by $2.5 million due to a reduction in the number of eligible Indian applicants.

TPA is 42 percent of BIA's Indian Programs budget.

Trust reform and management spans both the BIA and the OST. It includes fixing the current system as well as funding various programs to meet the Department's trust responsibilities to tribes and individual Indians.

The BIA's reform request is $73 million, which will be used to implement the High-Level Implementation Plan (HLIP). In total, the request for trust-related services at the BIA is $118.4 million, an increase of $12 million.

This increase includes the aforementioned TPA request of $7 million.

The OST's budget of $110.2 million includes $11 million for the Indian land consolidation program. The program, created by law, reduces fractionation among Indian land holders and reduces the burden of the government in administering the lands.

The Department of Justice works with the BIA to provide public safety and justice services to Indian Country. The BIA request is $5.5 million, an increase of $12,000 from 2001.

Land claims and water settlements are the primary reason the BIA's budget is increasing for fiscal year 2002. An additional $23 million has been requested, bringing payments to tribes to $60.9 million.

The BIA will begin making installments on a number of recently enacted land and water rights legislation, including the Torres-Martinez ($12 million), Santo Domingo Pueblo ($2 million), Colorado Ute Tribes ($8 million), and Shivwits Paiute ($5 million).

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BIA proposal includes slight increases (4/10)