Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Tribal Employment and Expenditure Submission Instructions (Department of the Treasury)
Posted: May 16, 2020

The Department of the Treasury on May 14, 2020, posted new guidance affecting the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund.

Titled “Guidance to Tribes for Completing Supplemental Request for Information,” the document explains what information will be needed before Treasury distributes the remaining $3.2 billion in the fund. The process is expected to begin next week and will conclude later in the month.

“This information will be required to be submitted by tribal governments through an electronic form that will be made available on Treasury’s website early in the week of May 17,” the document reads. “The required information should not be submitted to Treasury other than through the electronic form. Treasury expects to require the requested data to be submitted by 11:59 pm Alaska Daylight Time on May 26, 2020. The submission deadline will be confirmed when the online portal is opened next week.”

The $3.2 billion represents the 40 percent of the fund. Treasury intends to distribute the money based on employment and expenditure information submitted by eligible applicants.

For employment, applicants must show how many people are employed by the tribe itself and by tribal entities. Treasury wants to know the numbers for each quarter of calendar year 2019, suggesting any fluctuations might be taken into consideration in determining how to distribute the $3.2 billion.

For expenditures, applicants must submit “Total governmental expenditures” for fiscal year 2019. They also must show “Total amount of federal financial assistance,” suggesting that federal funds already provided might also be taken into consideration.

Tribes already submitted employment and expenditure information to Treasury last month. They also submitted data on their citizenship and land base in hopes securing shares of the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund promised to their governments by the CARES Act. The deadline to submit “certification forms” was April 17.

On May 5, following delays in releasing the money, Treasury shifted course and decided not to use any of the data, which tribes had to submit under penalty of perjury. The department instead split the fund into two parts, with an initial $4.8 billion based on Indian housing population kept by another federal agency entirely.

Due to ongoing litigation, only federally recognized tribal governments have received their shares of the $4.8 billion, which accounts for 60 percent of the fund. Treasury has told a federal judge that it is withholding payments for Alaska Native corporations, whose eligibility to receive money under the CARES Act remains in dispute.

A final decision on the matter has not been reached. But since Treasury considers Alaska Native corporations to be eligible for the coronavirus relief fund, they will be able to submit information for the remaining $3.2 billion.

Join the Conversation