Federal judge holding secret trust fund hearing
Facebook Twitter Email

The federal judge overseeing the class action trust fund against the government is holding a secret hearing today to address computer security issues.

Secretary of Interior Gale Norton does not want any documents regarding her department's computer network to be released. She has filed motions to prevent U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth from making public investigations by special master Alan Balaran and five pages of a report she paid EDS Corporation nearly $3 million to assess trust reform.

But Lamberth has hinted repeatedly he may unseal the reports. At a status hearing on Friday, he said EDS has raised questions about the government's ability to adequately maintain 300,000 American Indian and 1,400 tribal trust accounts.

Tribal leaders have asked for the documents as well, citing a right to know about their trust assets. The producers of The Wall Street Journal also want the documents made public.

Dennis Gingold, a lawyer representing the Indian beneficiaries said he expects the reports to be made public by tomorrow. He also said today's secret hearing will probably be followed by an on-the-record session due to widespread "public interest."

Lamberth's hearing is the second he has held on information technology security. On Thanksgiving eve, he held a private, one-sided hearing with Department of Justice attorneys regarding computer issues.

At the time, government attorneys said they would oppose any public disclosures and wanted to talk to a third-party contractor about several issues.

It is those positions Lamberth is to rule on imminently.

Today on Indianz.Com:
Norton set for 'worst nightmare' (12/3)
Okla. leaders question Norton's plan (12/3)

Relevant Links:
Office of the Special Trustee -
Trust Management Improvement Project -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -

Related Stories:
Judicial role in Norton's fate recognized (11/30)
Interior slammed on trust fund progress (11/30)
New NCAI president vows BIA fight (11/30)
Interior will send 'someone' to hearing (11/30)
Interior says tribal leaders can have report (11/30)
Norton ordered to trial for 'fraud' (11/29)
Tribal leaders reject BIA overhaul (11/29)
Indian Country deserves answers (11/29)
McCaleb suffers leg injury (11/29)
Report: Interior can't be trusted (11/29)
Norton to attend consultation session (11/29)
Big showing expected at Norton meeting (11/29)
Griles: Receiver ends sovereign relationship (11/29)
Swimmer: No clue on historical funds (11/29)
Contempt trial important somewhere (11/29)
Developing: Norton, McCaleb ordered to contempt trial (11/28)
Norton sees GOP support on overhaul (11/28)
Trust fund settlement talks fail (11/28)
NCAI shoring up Norton opposition (11/28)
Tribal leaders challenging Norton (11/28)
Norton wants to cut Interior jobs (11/28)
Norton failing on trust fund backup (11/27)
Interior schedules first consultation (11/27)
Interior cutting off tribal comments (11/27)
BIA collecting Indian preference info (11/27)
Norton's BIA overhaul blasted (11/26)
Interior changes mind on consultation (11/26)
Indian Country opposition gains momentum(11/26)
Norton faces big week on trust (11/26)
Editorial: Give Norton plan a chance (11/26)
Norton's attorney decries unfairness (11/26)
Norton's choice raises questions (11/26)
Judge holds secret hearing (11/23)
Indian Country slams 'sham' consultation (11/21)
Top trust fund official questioned (11/21)
No Thanksgiving for Indian Country (11/21)
Domenici praises Norton's 'bold move' (11/21)
BIA reorganization a focus of NCAI (11/21)
Reagan's Indian chief is back (11/20)
McCaleb faces Indian preference question (11/20)
Norton defends overhaul of BIA (11/20)
Norton promises fast start (11/20)
Developing: Swimmer tapped by Bush administration (11/19)
Few answers on BIA overhaul (11/19)
Norton challenges trust fund receiver (11/19)
Gover: Indian Country had it coming (11/19)
BIA reorganization focus of radio show (11/19)
Norton defends quarterly reports (11/19)
Norton's 'runaway train' denounced (11/17)
Norton stripping BIA of trust duties (11/16)
Tribal leaders in uproar over proposal (11/16)
Top Democrat calls for hearings (11/16)
Bush officials to speak at NCAI (11/16)
Norton files contempt defense (11/16)
Q&A on BIA Reorganization (11/16)
Developing: BIA stripped of trust duties (11/15)
Interior might need year on new agency (11/15)
Gover: Indian Country now 'weaker' (11/15)