Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico)
Posted: May 11, 2020

Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) addresses the winter session of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C, on February 11, 2020. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

For Immediate Release

May 11, 2020

Udall Welcomes Inspector General Reviews of Tribal Data Breach, Potential Conflicts of Interest in Interior Official’s Role in Distribution of Emergency Coronavirus Relief to Tribal Governments


Following widespread concerns from Indian Country, Udall requested reviews late last month


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, welcomed news that the Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) for both the Department of the Treasury and the Department of the Interior are conducting official reviews into two concerns raised by Tribal governments in New Mexico and across the country related to the Trump administration’s handling of COVID-19 relief funding for Tribes: the improper release of sensitive Tribal data and a senior Trump administration official’s potential conflict of interest in determining the federal distribution process for the CARES Act $8 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund set aside for Tribal governments.

After hearing from Tribal governments deeply concerned with CARES Act implementation, Udall formally requested the reviews in April. 

“These formal reviews into potential wrongdoing related to the disbursement of CARES Act funds reserved for Tribal governments are absolutely necessary. As a central pillar of the federal government’s coronavirus pandemic relief for Indian Country, the allocation and distribution of this funding to Indian Country must be done quickly, without bias, and without the appearance of any impropriety. The Trump administration’s troubled handling of the distribution of Tribal government relief cries out for robust oversight as Indian Country is experiencing some of the worst impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Udall said today. 

To view the letter from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of the Interior confirming the official reviews, click here.

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