On May 5, 2017, President Trump signed HR 244, the Consolidated Appropriations, FY 2017 Act (Act) which provides funding for federal agencies for the remaining five months of the fiscal year. Prior to this, only one full-year appropriations bill (Military Construction/Veterans) had been enacted. Consolidated Appropriations, FY 2017 is Public Law 115-31 and the accompanying House and Senate Committee reports are H. Rept. 114-632 and S. Rept. 114-281. An Explanatory Statement serves as the conference report. The final bill language and the Explanatory Statement are published in the May 3, 2017, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. We attach excerpts of relevant budget charts from the Explanatory Statement. In this Memorandum, we report on the final FY 2017 funding for Indian Affairs (which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)) which is in Division G of the Act, as well as a few other selected programs.
The Act halted federal agencies having to operate in FY 2017 under a Continuing Resolution, primarily at FY 2016 funding levels, as it represents a negotiated agreement among Congressional leaders.
The Explanatory Statement provides that “Report language contained in House Report 114-632 and Senate Report 114-281 providing specific guidance to agencies regarding the administration of appropriated funds and any corresponding reporting requirements carries the same emphasis as the language included in this explanatory statement and should be complied with unless specifically addressed to the contrary herein. This explanatory statement, while repeating some language for emphasis, is not intended to negate the language referred to above unless expressly provided herein.”
The references to the “Administration’s request” or “request” in this Memorandum refer to the Obama Administration’s FY 2017 proposed budget for Indian Affairs. We will report separately on the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 proposed budget for Indian Affairs.
INDIAN AFFAIRS (IA) OVERVIEW
For FY 2017, the Act provides $2.8 billion for Indian Affairs. This is $73.9 million less than the Administration’s request ($2.9 billion) but $63.6 million above the FY 2016 enacted level ($2.7 billion).
The Administration requested and Congress continued to provide strong funding levels for priorities such as School Construction and the Tiwahe Initiative. Of note, Contract Supports Costs continued as an “indefinite appropriation” with Congress providing “such sums as may be necessary” and for the second fiscal year in a row, Congress provided what is estimated to be full funding for the Tribal Grant Support Costs of tribally-controlled schools.
Indian Reorganization Act – Carcieri Fix Not Included. The Administration continued to request and Congress continued to not provide language which would reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2009 decision that the Secretary of the Interior does not have authority to take land into trust for tribes under federal jurisdiction after 1934. The Carcieri-Fix language that the Administration requested for FY 2017 is the same as what was requested in FYs 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Restriction on Implementation of New Federal Recognition Rule Not Included. The Act omits language from the General Provisions section of the House bill which would have restricted the Secretary of Interior from implementing, administering, or enforcing the new Federal Acknowledgment rule. Instead, the Explanatory Statement simply states:
The Committees acknowledge concerns expressed by certain tribes, States, and bipartisan members of Congress regarding recent changes in tribal recognition policy on standards that have been applied to new applicants since 1978. Federal acknowledgement of a tribe impacts the Federal budget, other tribes, State and local jurisdictions, and individual rights. The Committees expect the Administration to maintain rigorous recognition standards while implementing a more transparent, efficient, and workable process.
OPERATION OF INDIAN PROGRAMS
FY 2016 Enacted $2,267,924,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $2,395,786,000
FY 2017 Enacted $2,339,346,000
Operation of Indian Programs (OIP) budget includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).
Rescission. The Explanatory Statement explains, “The bill includes a rescission of $3,400,000 from prior year unobligated balances within the Operation of Indian Programs account. The Bureau is directed to take the rescission from no-year funds within the Executive Direction and Administrative Services activity.”
Fixed Costs and Transfers. The Administration had requested a $5.2 million increase for fixed costs as well as a number of transfers between accounts. The Explanatory Statement states that the requested fixed costs and transfers are included in the final agreement.
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
FY 2016 Enacted $1,415,557,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $1,483,356,000
FY 2017 Enacted $1,447,833,000
Activities within the Bureau of Indian Affairs are: Tribal Government; Human Services; Trust-Natural Resources Management; Trust-Real Estate Services; Public Safety and Justice; Community and Economic Development; and Executive Direction and Administrative Services.
FY 2016 Enacted $301,517,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $307,148,000
FY 2017 Enacted $308,815,000
The Tribal Government sub-activities are: Aid to Tribal Government; Consolidated Tribal Government Program; Self-Governance Compacts; New Tribes; Small and Needy Tribes; Road Maintenance; and Tribal Government Program Oversight. (See attached: FY 2017 Enacted Budget Chart, p. 62U)
New Tribes. This sub-activity provides $160,000 in Tribal Priority Allocation (TPA) base funding per tribe to support newly federally-recognized tribes. Once a tribe has been acknowledged, it remains in this category for three fiscal years. The Administration had requested no funding for this sub-activity in FY 2017; however, the Explanatory Statement provides $160,000, explaining, “If additional Tribes are recognized during fiscal year 2017 beyond those contemplated in the budget request, the Bureau is urged to support their capacity building efforts to the extent feasible.”
Small and Needy Tribes. This sub-activity provides a minimum base level by which small and needy tribes can run viable tribal governments. The Administration had requested $3 million but the Explanatory Statement provides $4.4 million, “ensuring that all Tribes receive the maximum base level provided by the Bureau to run Tribal governments.”
Road Maintenance. The Administration had requested $26.7 million for this sub-activity noting that the amount received by tribes in the TPA portion of this budget sub-activity generally equals about only 9 percent of the estimated $289 million in deferred maintenance. The Explanatory Statement provides $30 million and directs, “The Bureau is urged to focus the program increase on roads and bridges in poor or failing condition, particularly along school bus routes. The Bureau is directed to consolidate the reporting requirements for road maintenance contained in the House and Senate reports and to report back to the Committees within 60 days of enactment of this Act.”
The House Report states:
The Committee recognizes that only 16 percent of BIA-owned roads and only 67 percent of BIA-owned bridges are in fair condition or better. The increase above the budget request is intended for BIA owned roads and bridges in poor or failing condition, particularly along school bus routes.
The Committee remains concerned by the BIA’s substantial road maintenance backlog, particularly as it impacts rural tribal communities that lack adequate emergency access corridors. The Committee directs the Secretary to submit a report outlining the steps the BIA is taking to address the safety and emergency access issues experienced by remote and isolated tribal communities.
The Senate Report states:
The Committee is concerned about the future funding of the Road Maintenance account and the backlog for deferred maintenance of roads in Indian Country; therefore, the Committee directs the Bureau to report back to the Committee in 60 days of enactment of this act on how the Bureau plans to allocate the funds provided in the bill.
Tribal Government Program Oversight. The Administration had requested a $4 million increase above FY 2016 for this sub-activity in order to continue to develop a national Native One-Stop Support Center. The purpose of the Center is to make it easier for tribes to find and access information about programs, services and funding opportunities available across the federal government. Congress declined to fund this requested increase.
The House Report explains:
The recommendation does not include the requested increases for the Nativeonestop.gov web portal because of the already limited funding for core tribal government programs. Indian Affairs is encouraged to coordinate with the Grants.gov web portal, to share costs with other Federal agencies, and to reconsider the need to hire regional staff, before including the proposal in the fiscal year 2018 budget request.
FY 2016 Enacted $147,004,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $164,161,000
FY 2017 Enacted $159,161,000
The Human Services sub-activities are: Social Services; Welfare Assistance; Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA); Housing Improvement Program (HIP); Human Services Tribal Design; and Human Services Program Oversight. (See attached: FY 2017 Enacted Budget Chart, p. 62U)
Tiwahe Initiative. The Administration had requested a $17.4 million increase for the portion of the Tiwahe Initiative funded by the Human Services activity. This requested increase came in the form of a $12.3 million requested increase for the Social Services sub-activity; a $3.4 million requested increase for the ICWA sub-activity and a $1.7 million requested increase for the Housing Improvement Program sub-activity. The Explanatory Statement provides $12.1 million of that $17.4 million requested increase and directs the BIA to “report back to the Committees within 90 days of enactment of this Act on the performance measures being used to monitor and track the Tiwahe initiative’s effectiveness in Indian Country.”
The House Report emphasizes that the increase should be used to “provide culturally-appropriate services with the goals of empowering individuals and families through health promotion, family stability, and strengthening tribal communities as a whole… [and to] keep AI/AN children in need of foster care in AI/AN communities wherever possible.” The House Report further emphasizes that “Indian Affairs is urged to make services available to law enforcement officers in coordination with the Indian Health Service.”
The Senate Committee concurs that the increases are to “expand and continue the Tiwahe initiative.” Further, “The Committee recommends increasing funds for Tiwahe as a way to strengthen tribal communities in Indian country by leveraging programs and resources; however, it is important to measure program effectiveness as the initiative continues and grows. The Committee directs the Bureau to report back in 90 days of enactment of this act on the performance measures being used to monitor and track the initiative’s effectiveness in Indian country.”
TRUST–NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
FY 2016 Enacted $191,846,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $215,597,000
FY 2017 Enacted $200,992,000
The Trust–Natural Resources Management sub-activities are: Natural Resources, general; Irrigation Operation and Maintenance; Rights Protection Implementation; Tribal Management/Development Programs; Endangered Species; Tribal Climate Resilience/Cooperative Landscape Conservation; Integrated Resource Information; Agriculture and Range; Forestry; Water Resources; Fish/Wildlife & Parks; and Resource Management Oversight. (See attached: FY 2017 Enacted Budget Chart, p. 62V)
For FY 2017, the Administration had requested substantial increases across the Trust-Natural Resources Management Activity, totaling $23.7 million above FY 2016. Of the $23.7 million in requested increases, Congress provided $9.1 million. This increase was largely concentrated in the following sub-activities: Irrigation Operation and Maintenance; Rights Protection Implementation; Tribal Management/Development Programs; Forestry; and Fish/Wildlife & Parks.
Rights Protection Implementation. The House Report states that the increase is provided “in order to meet Federal court litigated and mitigated responsibilities in the conservation and management of fish and wildlife resources.”
Tribal Management/Development Program: Alaska Subsistence. The Administration had requested a $5 million increase for this sub-activity with $2 million of that increase to be focused on subsistence management in Alaska. The Administration stated that “the funding will support and expand projects in targeted areas across the State that promote tribal cooperative management of fish and wildlife and improved access to subsistence resources on Federal land and waters. (FY 2017 Budget Justification, p. IA-TNR-22) Congress funded the $2 million requested increase.
The Explanatory Statement provides:
The agreement includes … a $2,000,000 program increase for Alaska subsistence programs as requested, including consideration of funding for the projects and pilot programs referenced in the budget submission including the Ahtna Subsistence Cooperative Management Project and the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission.
Tribal Climate Resilience/Cooperative Landscape Conservation. The Administration had requested a $3.1 million increase for this sub-activity, specifically as a “… set-aside to support Alaska Native Villages in the Arctic and other critically vulnerable communities to improve the long-term resilience of their communities.” (FY 2017 Budget Justification, p. IA-TNR-22).
Congress declined to provide this requested increase; however, the House Report directed the BIA to act as follows:
The Committee supports the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ efforts to address the resiliency needs of tribal communities by working to address threats to public safety, natural resources, and sacred sites. The Committee is particularly concerned about coastal tribal communities and Alaska Native Villages that face severe challenges to their long-term resilience. Consistent with the Federal government’s treaty and trust obligations, the Committee directs the Bureau of Indian Affairs to work with at-risk tribes to identify and expedite the necessary resources to support mitigation and relocation efforts.
Forestry. The Administration had requested flat funding for this sub-activity; however, Congress provided a $2.2 million increase directed to forest thinning projects.
The House Report continued the following report language on agreements with tribes:
The Department of the Interior is encouraged to promote and expand the use of agreements with Indian tribes to protect Indian trust resources from catastrophic wildland fire, insect and disease infestation, or other threats from adjacent Federal lands, as authorized by law.
Water Resources. The Administration had requested a $4.5 million increase for this sub-activity to fund:
…additional activities necessary to manage tribal water resources, support additional BIA management staff and to provide an amount not to exceed $2.5 million for use by the Secretary’s Indian Water Rights Office in analyzing individual water settlement proposals, training settlement and negotiation teams, and otherwise implementing national policy objectives concerning Indian water settlements. (FY 2017 Budget Justification, p. IA-TNR-5)
Congress ultimately provided only $83,000 of the requested increase; however, both the House and Senate Report specified that from within the total $10.4 million provided for the Water Resources sub-activity, $390,000 is to be used to continue the Seminole and Miccosukee water study (as requested by the Administration).
Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. The Administration had requested a $2 million increase for this sub-activity to be directed to ensure resilience in planning development , and operations. Ultimately, Congress provided a $1.5 million increase, specifying that $545,000 of that be directed to “Tribal hatcheries currently not receiving BIA hatchery operations funding as outlined in the Senate report, and $1 million for fish hatchery operations.” The Senate Report elaborates that the $545,000 is for “substantially producing tribal hatcheries in BIA’s Northwest Region currently not receiving BIA hatchery operations funding.”
Partnership with USGS. The Explanatory Statement directs, “The Bureau is directed to enter into a formal partnership with local Tribes and the United States Geological Survey to help develop a water quality strategy for transboundary rivers affected by discharges caused by mines across the Canadian border.” The Senate Report elaborates that this includes the Unuk River.
Challenges. The Senate Report states, “The Committee also recognizes that many tribes west of the Mississippi River tend to have reservations that are larger in terms of land mass than those east of the Mississippi River and face challenges including drought. However, the Committee expects that tribes across the country who have resource challenges receive appropriate funding.”
TRUST–REAL ESTATE SERVICES
FY 2016 Enacted $127,486,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $136,192,000
FY 2017 Enacted $123,092,000
The Trust–Real Estate Services sub-activities are: Trust Services; Navajo-Hopi Settlement Program; Land Title and Records Offices; Real Estate Services; Land Records Improvement; Environmental Quality; Alaskan Native Programs; Rights Protection; and Trust-Real Estate Services Oversight.
The major changes requested by the Administration were a $6.8 million reduction to the Trust Services sub-activity to reflect the completion of the Klamath River program and a $7.5 million increase to the Rights Protection sub-activity to support the quantification of Indian water rights through litigation and settlement negotiations. Congress obliged with the $6.8 million reduction.
The Explanatory Statement describes the increases and decreases Congress ultimately provided within the Trust–Real Estate Services activity:
The agreement includes $123,092,000 for real estate services and includes the following program changes: a decrease of $6,893,000 as requested from trust services; a $400,000 increase for the historical places and cemetery sites program, including ANCSA sites; and a $1,500,000 increase for settlement negotiations and implementation related to water rights and Tribal trust fishery resources in the Klamath Basin.
Reservation Boundaries. In the Explanatory Statement, Congress ultimately rejected the following language from the House Report, “Indian Affairs is directed to recognize the Yakama Indian Nation’s tribal boundary as the boundary established by the State of Washington and the Congress.”
Title Conveyance Requests. The House Report directs:
The Committee directs the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to have no outstanding title conveyance requests older than 12 months, including those that have been initially rejected by the Land Titles and Record Offices for insufficient or incorrect documentation, by September, 2017. The Committee expects an update on the status of outstanding conveyances by September, 2017 and a report on what the BIA will be changing in their operations policy to ensure these backlogs and documentation related rejections do not occur in the future.
The Explanatory Statement urges:
The Committees are concerned that the Bureau does not adequately maintain rights-of-way records. The Bureau is encouraged to develop a plan to update and digitize its inventory of records and to make the records publicly available in a commonly used mapping format, consistent with the guidance provided in Senate Report 114-281.
The Senate Report directs:
The Committee is aware that the Bureau’s process for maintaining rights-of-way records has long been a problem and encourages the Bureau to develop a plan to update and digitize its inventory of records and to make the records publicly available in a commonly used mapping format. The Committee is concerned that some records have been lost and the Bureau often struggles to provide documentation to tribes and other stakeholders in a timely fashion. The lack of access to current records creates bureaucratic roadblocks that too often disrupt projects on Indian land and create unnecessary conflict. Updating and digitizing rights-of way documents and making them available on a public database will ensure that the BIA is fulfilling its responsibility to tribes and will help ensure that projects are completed in a more timely and cost-effective manner.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND JUSTICE
FY 2016 Enacted $377,423,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $373,460,000
FY 2017 Enacted $385,735,000
The Public Safety and Justice sub-activities are: Law Enforcement; Tribal Courts; and Fire Protection. (See attached: FY 2017 Enacted Budget Chart, p. 62W)
In FY 2016, Congress exceeded the Administration’s request by $13 million. In FY 2017, Congress once again exceeded the Administration’s request, this time by $12.2 million.
Tiwahe Initiative. An aspect of the Tiwahe Initiative is identifying and treating the social, behavioral and substance abuse needs of convicted offenders and facilitating their re-entry into communities. Another is strengthening tribal court systems to address issues related to children and family services and as well as finding solutions to reducing recidivism. To carry out the Tiwahe Initiative, the Administration requested and Congress provided a $1 million increase to the Detention/Corrections program element (to bolster inmate support activities) for a total of $96.5 million and a $2.6 million increase to the Tribal Courts program element (to support existing Tiwahe pilot project sites and add five additional sites) for a total of $30.7 million.
Tribal Justice Support and PL 280 States. For FY 2017, the Administration requested an $8.2 million cut to Tribal Justice Support, seeking to scale back a program element which had received an increase in FY 2016. Given the important sentencing provisions for tribes in the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2013, Congress roundly rejected this proposed cut. Congress also emphasized the needs of tribal justice systems in PL 280 states.
The Explanatory Statement explains:
Funding for Tribal justice support is restored to $17,250,000, of which not less than $10,000,000 is to address the needs of Tribes affected by Public Law 83-280. The Committees remain concerned about Tribal court needs as identified in the Indian Law and Order Commission’s November 2013 report, which notes Federal investment in Tribal justice in “P.L. 280” States has been more limited than elsewhere in Indian Country. The Committees expect the Bureau to work with Tribes and Tribal organizations in these States to fund plans that design, promote, sustain, or pilot courts systems subject to jurisdiction under Public Law 83-280. The Bureau is also directed to formally consult and maintain open communication throughout the process with Tribes and Tribal organizations on how this funding supports the technical infrastructure and future Tribal court needs for these jurisdictions.
The Senate Report elaborates:
The Committee remains concerned about the tribal courts needs as identified in the Indian Law and Order Commission’s November 2013 report which notes Federal investment in tribal justice for Public Law 83–280 States has been more limited than elsewhere in Indian Country. The Committee expects the Bureau to work with Indian tribes and tribal organizations to consider options that promote, sustain, design, or pilot tribal court systems for tribal communities subject to full or partial State jurisdiction under Public Law 83–280. As part of this process, the Bureau should conduct meaningful consultations with tribes and tribal organizations and the Committee expects the Bureau to have extensive communication with tribes on how this funding may result in a strategic plan identifying the funding and technical infrastructure needs for these States.
The Committee is also aware the Bureau has not submitted reports required by the Tribal Law and Order Act, Public Law 111–211. Providing this information would help ensure tribal governments are receiving funding levels for public safety and justice programs based on need; therefore, the Committee strongly encourages the Bureau submit this annual report.
Educational and Health-Related Services for Individuals in Tribal Detention Centers Considered Allowable Costs. The House Report expanded upon its report language from FY 2016, stating:
For the purpose of addressing the needs of juveniles in custody at tribal detention centers operated or administered by the BIA, the Committee considers educational and health-related services to juveniles in custody to be allowable costs for detention/corrections program funding. Indian Affairs is further urged to provide mental health and substance abuse services when needed by juvenile and adult detainees and convicted prisoners.
Criminal Investigations and Police Services. Congress increased this program element above the requested amount for a total of $202 million. The House report notes that $3 million of this increase is to “continue reducing the disparity in the number of patrol officers per population size in Indian Country, as compared to the Nation as a whole.” Further, the House Report urges Indian Affairs to improve officer safety by eliminating radio tower communications dead zones.
Cultural Items Unit Created to Investigate NAGPRA Violations. The Explanatory Statement specifies that from within the $202 million provided for the Criminal Investigations and Police Services program element, there is a $1 million program increase to implement the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
The House Report explains:
The Committee recommends $1,000,000 to support the development of a Cultural Items Unit within the Division of Law Enforcement tasked with investigating violations of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), and related law. Although domestic laws such as NAGPRA can be enforced to address the theft of tribal cultural items with both criminal and civil penalties, without active Federal support, tribes are left only to do what they each can independently afford to do to stop the theft and sale of their cultural items. Therefore, the Committee supports the BIA in developing the capacity to coordinate investigations of violations of NAGPRA and related law.
COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
FY 2016 Enacted $40,619,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $42,844,000
FY 2017 Enacted $41,844,000
The Community and Economic Development sub-activities are: Job Placement and Training; Economic Development; Minerals and Mining; and Community Development Oversight.
Congress ultimately provided an amount similar to the Administration’s request. The Explanatory Statement describes the how this amount is to be allocated, “The agreement includes $41,844,000 for community and economic development, of which: $12,504,000 is for job placement and training; $25,304,000 is for minerals and mining; and $2,235,000 is for community development central oversight.”
NIOGEMS. The Senate Report directs:
The Committee is concerned the Bureau has not maintained sufficient digital records for the oil and gas programs and understands the Bureau has developed a National Indian Oil and Gas Evaluation Management System [NIOGEMS] which has been distributed to some tribes and regional offices. The Committee instructs the Bureau to report back within 120 days of enactment of this act on the cost to further expand this system to more reservations and offices.
Energy Service Center. In FY 2016, the Administration requested and Congress provided $4.5 million to establish an Indian Energy Service Center staffed by BIA, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, the Bureau of Land Management and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians to facilitate energy development in Indian Country. The Center is to be tasked with expediting leasing, permitting, and reporting for conventional and renewable energy on Indian lands. For FY 2017, both the House and Senate report language push the Department of Interior to get the Energy Service Center up and running.
The Senate Report directs:
The Committee is also concerned about the status of the new Energy Service Center which is supposed to help facilitate energy development in Indian Country. The Committee directs the Bureau to report back in 120 days of enactment of this act on the progress of opening this office and outline any obstacles that may delay the opening of the Center.
The House Report urges:
Indian Affairs is encouraged to submit a budget request for fiscal year 2018 for the next phase of the energy office.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
FY 2016 Enacted $229,662,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $243,954,000
FY 2017 Enacted $228,824,000
The Executive Direction and Administrative Services sub-activities are: Assistant Secretary Support; Executive Direction; Administrative Services; Safety and Risk Management; Information Resources Technology; Human Capital Management; Facilities Management, Intra-Governmental Payments; and Rentals.
In the Explanatory Statement, Congress ultimately provided an amount substantially less than the Administration’s request, to be allocated as follows:
The agreement provides $228,824,000 for executive direction and administrative services, of which: $10,006,000 is for Assistant Secretary Support, $2,970,000 is for safety and risk management; $23,060,000 is for human capital management; $23,552,000 is for intra-governmental payments. The reductions from Assistant Secretary Support and human capital management reflect a transfer of school-related responsibilities, personnel, and budget to the Bureau of Indian Education.
Data Quality Improvement. The Administration requested, and Congress ultimately declined to provide, a $12 million increase to the Assistant Secretary Support sub-activity to address data gaps in Indian Country and create Office of Indian Affairs Policy, Program Evaluation, and Data.
Treaty Fishing Sites. The Senate Report directs the BIA as follows:
The Committee is concerned that the Bureau’s budget does not adequately fund operating costs for treaty fishing sites on the Columbia River that were authorized to be set aside by Congress by Public Law 79–14 and title IV of Public Law 100–581 to allow tribes access to fishing locations in lieu of traditional fishing grounds that were compromised by dams. The Bureau is directed to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and affected tribes and provide a report to the Committees on Appropriations within 60 days of enactment of this act that details the amounts needed to fully fund operating and law enforcement needs at such sites. The Bureau is also urged to incorporate any unfunded needs identified by the requested report in future budget requests.
BUREAU OF INDIAN EDUCATION
FY 2016 Enacted $852,367,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $912,430,000
FY 2017 Enacted $891,513,000
The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) category displays funds for the BIE-funded elementary and secondary school systems as well as other education programs including higher education and scholarships. The Bureau of Indian Education sub-activities are: Elementary and Secondary Programs (Forward Funded); Elementary and Secondary Programs (Non-Forward Funded); Post Secondary Programs (Forward Funded); Post Secondary Programs (Non-Forward Funded); and Education Management.
Implementation of the BIE Reorganization and GAO Recommendations. Congress continues to provide strong funding levels for the BIE (a $21 million increase beyond FY 2016); however, these funding levels are not without concerns and not without oversight. The Explanatory Statement and House and Senate reports make clear that further increases are contingent upon successful implementation of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recommendations.
The Explanatory Statement states:
The Committees remain concerned about recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports detailing problems within the K-12 Indian education system at the Department of the Interior, in particular as they pertain to organizational structure, accountability, finance, health and safety, and ultimately student performance. As the Department takes steps to reform the system, the Secretary is reminded that future support from Congress will continue to be based in large part upon successful implementation of GAO report recommendations. In particular, consistent with GAO report 13-774, the Secretary is urged to reorganize Indian Affairs so that control and accountability of the BIE system is consolidated within the BIE, to present such reorganization proposal in the fiscal year 2018 budget request, and to submit to the Committees a corresponding updated workforce plan. Consistent with GAO testimonies 15-389T, 15-539T, 15-597T, and any subsequent reports, the Secretary is urged to personally oversee immediate actions necessary to ensure the continued health and safety of students and employees at BIE schools and facilities.
The House Report states:
Indian education remains among the Committee’s top priorities because it is a fundamental trust responsibility and because elementary and secondary students in particular have fallen far behind their peers for reasons now well documented by the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Education, and others.
The BIE system is undergoing a major transformation, in direct response to these reports, in order to meet the changing needs of schools now that most schools are tribally-run, and in order to improve accountability. With the concurrence of elected tribal leaders and major intertribal organizations, the Committee continues to support this transformation. By the end of fiscal year 2017, all of the education-related responsibilities under Indian Affairs, including procurement, human resources, budget and finance, and BIE facilities operations, maintenance, and inspections, should be consolidated under the BIE, which should be led by an experienced and proven superintendent selected from a pool of qualified candidates inside and outside the BIE system.
The Senate Report states:
The administration is commended for its continued focus on tribal education programs, including efforts to improve collaboration between the Departments of the Interior and Education and to implement Executive Order 13592 to improve educational outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native students. It is noted the administration is currently in the process of making much needed reforms to the Bureau of Indian Education [BIE] to improve the quality of education offered to address the performance gap of students educated at BIE funded schools. The first phase of the reform effort was approved in 2015; however, the Bureau has not provided sufficient information to the Committee on the progress of implementing the first phase of reform nor has the Bureau provided sufficient information on the second phase of reform. The Committee is fully supportive of efforts to reform the Bureau in order to improve the quality of education and services provided to schools funded by the Bureau, particularly with respect to facilities maintenance and improvement needs. However, the Committee is very concerned that the Bureau continues to struggle to provide basic detail about proposed organizational and budgetary changes associated with the administration’s reform efforts, including significant increases proposed in the request. As a result, funding increases proposed for the education program management activity have been withheld until the Bureau can better justify its request.
The Committee is concerned that the Bureau has been unable to provide sufficient detail regarding how the education program enhancements funds will be allocated in fiscal year 2017. The Committee is also concerned that the Bureau has failed to fully account for the proposed costs of its new Education Resource Centers, which are now partially funded. Within 30 days of enactment of this act, the Bureau is directed to provide to the Committee a report that includes: (1) a detailed allocation of the activities funded through the education program enhancement program for fiscal year 2015, 2016 and 2017; and (2) a line-item budget for the Bureau’s Education Resource Centers for fiscal year 2016 and 2017, including all sources of funding they are expected to receive.
The Committee remains concerned the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, which includes the Bureau of Indian Education [BIE], and the Bureau of Indian Affairs [BIA] has not addressed the findings or implemented 11 of 13 recommendations in the Government Accountability Office [GAO] reports (GAO–13–774, GAO–14–121, and GAO–16–313). These reports outline systemic problems with management and the safety condition of BIE schools, such as lack of oversight over school spending and facilities, including construction, operation, maintenance, basic repair, and safety upgrades needed to improve the condition of schools that serve Indian Country. The Committee stands ready to work with the administration on the appropriate steps forward and directs the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs to report back within 30 days of enactment of this act on the progress made towards implementing the GAO recommendations.
Expansion of Inter-Agency Coordination to Serve Native Children.
The House Report states:
The BIE is encouraged to coordinate with the Indian Health Service to integrate preventive dental care and mental health care at schools within the BIE system.
The Senate Report states:
The administration’s emphasis on education must be complemented by efforts to improve interagency coordination for the multiplicity of programs that affect the wellbeing of Native children. In addition to education, these include healthcare, social service, child welfare and juvenile justice programs. The Committee encourages the Bureau to work with other relevant Federal, State, local, and tribal organizations to begin the process of identifying ways to make programs more effective in serving Native Children.
The Bureau, working with the Indian Health Service as appropriate, is also urged to consider integrating school-based preventative health services such as dental care into elementary schools in order to improve health outcomes of tribal students.
Continued Limitations on the Expansion of Grades, Charter Schools, Satellite Locations and BIE-funded Schools in Alaska. The Act continues the limiting language from prior years.
The House Report explains:
The recommendation continues bill language limiting the expansion of grades and schools in the BIE system, including charter schools. The intent of the language is to prevent already limited funds from being spread further to additional schools and grades. The intent is not to limit tribal flexibility at existing schools. Nothing in the bill is intended to prohibit a tribe from converting a tribally-controlled school already in the BIE system to a charter school in accordance with State and Federal law.
The recommendation continues bill language providing the Secretary with the authority to approve satellite locations of existing BIE schools if a tribe can demonstrate that the establishment of such locations would provide comparable levels of education as are being offered at such existing BIE schools, and would not significantly increase costs to the Federal government. The intent is for this authority to be exercised only in extraordinary circumstances to provide tribes with additional flexibility regarding where students are educated without compromising how they are educated, and to significantly reduce the hardship and expense of transporting students over long distances, all without unduly increasing costs that would otherwise unfairly come at the expense of other
schools in the BIE system.
Alaska Native Boarding Schools.
The Senate Report states:
The Committee recognizes the importance Alaska Native boarding schools play in the education and development of Alaska Native youth. The Committee encourages and recommends the Bureau take steps to ensure these schools receive sufficient support that allows them to help students effectively transition to post-secondary and career options.
Elementary and Secondary Programs (Forward Funded)
FY 2016 Enacted $553,458,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $574,075,000
FY 2017 Enacted $575,155,000
The Elementary and Secondary forward funded sub-activity includes all components for operating an elementary and secondary school system. For schools operated by tribes through grants, the program also includes funding to cover the tribe’s administrative costs. The forward-funded sub-activities are: the ISEP Formula Funding; ISEP Program Adjustments; Education Program Enhancements; Tribal Education Departments; Student Transportation; Early Childhood Development, and Tribal Grant Support Costs (formerly titled Administrative Cost Grants.) Funds appropriated for FY 2017 for these programs will become available for obligation on July 1, 2017, for SY 2017-2018.
The table below depicts which sub-activities received increases for FY 2017.
Sub-activity FY 2017 Enacted +/- Compared to FY 2016
ISEP Formula Fund $400,223,000 + $8,386,000
Education Program Enhancements $ 14,201,000* + $2,000,000*
Tribal Education Departments $ 2,500,000 + $ 500,000
Student Transportation $ 55,995,000 + $2,853,000
Early Child and Family Development $ 18,659,000 + $3,039,000
Tribal Grant Support Costs $ 80,165,000 + $6,889,000
* The $2 million “increase” is actually attributed to Congress authorizing the Bureau’s use of $2 million in prior-year unobligated balances.
ISEP Formula Funding. The Indian School Equalization Program (ISEP) Formula Fund is the core budget account for BIE-funded elementary and secondary schools and dormitories. These funds are used for instructional programs and include salaries of teachers, educational technicians, and principals. The amount provided to each school is determined by a statutorily-mandated formula established by regulation. For years, the only increases Congress provided to the ISEP Formula Fund were increases attributed to fixed costs, as opposed to any program increases. FY 2017 marks the first program increase since FY 2010.
Education Program Enhancements: Native Language Immersion Programs.
The Explanatory Statement provides:
The Committees support efforts to revitalize and maintain Native languages and expand the use of language immersion programs and have provided $2,000,000 within education program enhancements for capacity building grants for Bureau and tribally operated schools to expand existing language immersion programs or to create new programs. Prior to distributing these funds, the Bureau shall coordinate with the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that Bureau investments compliment, but do not duplicate, existing language immersion programs. The Committees also direct the Bureau to submit a report to the Committees within 180 days of enactment of this Act regarding the distribution of these funds and the status of Native language classes and immersion programs offered at Bureau-funded schools.
The Senate Report directs:
The Committee fully supports broadening access to Native language and culture programs, which have been linked to higher academic achievement for Native youth. The Committee is pleased to see that the proposed increase for the ISEP program is expected to enhance access to Native language and culture programs in BIE-funded schools and directs the Bureau to report within 60 days of enactment that details how the increases provided in this bill will be used to support these programs.
Tribal Departments or Divisions of Education. This sub-activity funds the development and operation of tribal departments or divisions of education (TEDs). The House Report states, “TEDs are instrumental in helping tribes build the capacity to oversee the high quality and culturally appropriate education of tribal members.”
Student Transportation. The House Report directs the BIE to oversee and report on the safety of school bus routes.
Early Child and Family Development. The Explanatory Statement states that the $3 million increase should be used to expand the Family and Child Education (FACE) program. The Senate Report clarifies that in doing so, the Bureau shall not reduce funding for any currently operating FACE programs. The House Report directs the BIE to conduct an annual review of the FACE program and to publish its findings in order to improve program direction and transparency.
Tribal Grant Support Costs. The Administration had originally estimated that a level of $75.3 million would continue the (relatively new) practice of providing full funding for Tribal Grant Support Costs. As the year went on, the Appropriations committees and the Bureau came to the conclusion that $80.1 million was needed to provide full funding, which Congress ultimately provided. The House Report notes, “Fully funding these costs is consistent with the policy of fully funding contract support costs, and is instrumental for tribal control of more BIE-system schools.”
Elementary and Secondary Programs (Non-Forward Funded)
FY 2016 Enacted $134,263,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $144,295,000
FY 2017 Enacted $140,540,000
The non-forward funded programs are: Facilities Operations, Facilities Maintenance and Johnson-O’Malley Assistance Grants. Funds for Facilities Operations and Facilities Maintenance are distributed by formula to schools in the BIE school system.
Facilities Operations & Maintenance (O&M). The Administration requested and Congress provided $3 million increases to each account, totaling $66.2 million for Facilities Operations and $59 million for Facilities Maintenance. The Administration’s FY 2017 budget request estimates that this will fund 78 percent of calculated Facilities O&M need across the BIE-funded schools. The House Report directs the Administration to recalculate the annual estimated need according to industry standards, and report any estimated shortfall in future budget justifications.
Johnson-O’Malley. Johnson O’Malley (JOM) education grants are provided through tribes and public schools to support Native students who attend public schools. The Administration had requested a $3.6 million increase, which Congress declined to provide. Congress also expresses concern about the accuracy of the JOM student count, requesting a report.
The Explanatory Statement states:
The Johnson O’Malley program is funded at the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. The Committees remain concerned that the distribution of funds is not an accurate reflection of the distribution of students. The Bureau is directed to consolidate the program reporting requirements contained in the House and Senate reports and to report back to the Committees within 60 days of enactment of this Act.
The House Report states:
The recommendation includes $14,778,000 for the Johnson O’Malley (JOM) program, equal to the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. The Committee continues to encourage the BIE and tribal partners to establish a regular and accurate student count so that future appropriations more accurately reflect the increase and distribution of the eligible student population. The Committee directs the Bureau, in consultation with tribal leaders and in coordination with the Department of Education and the Census Bureau, to examine the feasibility of using U.S. Census or National Center for Education Statistics data to provide the JOM student count. The Committee requests that a report be provided to Congress, tribal leaders, and existing JOM contractors no later than September 30, 2017, that (i) uses this data to estimate the number of potentially eligible Indian students, and (ii) proposes a process to reconcile this data with information from eligible contracting entities and tribal enrollment to determine funding distributions.
The Senate Report states:
The Committee remains concerned about the distribution methodology of the Johnson O’Malley assistance grants and requests the Bureau report back to the Committee within 30 days of enactment of this act on the status of updating the JOM counts and the methodology used to determine the new counts.
Post Secondary Programs (Forward Funded)
FY 2016 Enacted $74,893,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $77,207,000
FY 2017 Enacted $77,207,000
This sub-activity includes forward funded Tribal Colleges and Universities and forward funded Tribal Technical Colleges (United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) and Navajo Technical University (NTU)).
Unfunded Needs. Congress provided the requested $69.7 million for Tribal Colleges and Universities and $7.4 million for Tribal Technical Colleges (a $503,000 increase); however, both the House and Senate reports urge the Administration to study the schools’ funding needs and provide an FY 2018 budget requests that accurately reflects the level of need.
The House Report states:
The Committee recognizes that level funding and increasing enrollment has resulted in steadily decreasing funding for Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) on a per student basis. Therefore, the Committee directs the Bureau to articulate a process in the fiscal year 2018 congressional budget justification to annually fund TCUs on a per Indian student basis, as authorized under the Tribally Controlled Colleges & Universities Assistance Act in 1978 (P.L. 95–471), and to compare that funding to the authorized level of $8,000 per student.
The Senate Report states:
The Committee strongly supports the work that tribal colleges and universities do to provide high quality, affordable higher education opportunities to Native students.
The Committee also recognizes that many tribal colleges have significant unfunded needs and directs the Bureau to work with tribal leaders and other stakeholders to develop a consistent methodology for determining tribal college operating needs to inform future budget requests. The Committee expects the methodology to address operating and infrastructure needs including classrooms and housing.
Post Secondary Programs (Non-Forward Funded)
FY 2016 Enacted $64,602,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $66,841,000
FY 2017 Enacted $63,581,000
The two post-secondary schools in the BIE’s education system are Haskell Indian Nations University (Haskell), and the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI). The Non-Forward Funded Post Secondary Programs sub-activity also includes: Tribal Colleges and Universities Supplements; Scholarships and Adult Education; Special Higher Education Scholarships; and the Science Post Graduate Scholarship Fund.
Congress largely provided the amounts requested by the Administration for a total of $22.1 million for Haskell and SIPI (a $2 million increase) and $2.9 million for special higher education scholarships. Congress provided $3.2 million of the $6.7 million increase the Administration requested for scholarships and adult education, for a total of $34.7 million.
Forward Funding Needed for Haskell and SIPI.
The Explanatory Statement explains:
The one-time increase of $5,100,000 provided in fiscal year 2016 to forward fund Tribal technical colleges bas been transferred to forward fund the Institute of American Indian Arts in fiscal year 2017. The Bureau is encouraged to forward fund Haskell and SIPI in future budget requests so that all Tribal colleges are on the same funding schedule.
The Senate Report elaborates:
The Committee’s recommendation provides the requested $2,000,000 increase above the enacted level for the operations of Haskell and SIPI universities and supports the requested levels for Tribal Technical Colleges and postsecondary programs. The Committees provided sufficient funding to forward fund the Tribal Technical Colleges in fiscal year 2016 and continues to believe there should be parity in the way that all tribal colleges receive assistance and are funded. The Committee encourages the Bureau to look for ways to forward fund Haskell and SIPI in future budget requests so that all tribal colleges are on the same funding schedule.
FY 2016 Enacted $25,151,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $50,012,000
FY 2017 Enacted $35,050,000
The Education Management sub-activity consists of Education Program Management and Information Technology.
Education Program Management. The Administration requested and Congress provided an $8 million increase, for a total of $24.7 million, to fund the restructuring of the BIE (to include expanded responsibility for administrative services and construction) and staff the new Education Resource Centers.
Education IT. The Administration requested a $16.7 million increase in order to increase communications bandwidth in schools and to procure computers and software. Ultimately, Congress provided only a $2 million increase for a total of $10.2 million.
The Senate Report states:
The Committee understands the importance of bringing broadband to reservations and villages and includes an additional $2,000,000 in this bill to partially fund this effort. The Committee directs the Agency to report back within 90 days of enactment of this act on a scalable plan to increase bandwidth in schools, procure computers, and software.
The House Report states:
Without question, high speed internet access is essential for student success and economic development in modern society. However, the Government Accountability Office recently identified tribal internet access as an area of fragmentation, overlap, or duplication (GAO 16 375SP). Indian Affairs is urged to coordinate with larger, existing broadband access programs funded by the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
CONTRACT SUPPORT COSTS
FY 2016 Enacted Such sums as may be necessary
FY 2017 Admin. Request Such sums as may be necessary
FY 2017 Enacted Such sums as may be necessary
The Act, consistent with the Administration’s request, continues Contract Support Costs (CSC) in FY 2017 as an indefinite appropriation at “such sums as may necessary” and maintains CSC in its own separate account comprised of Contract Support (Such sums as may be necessary, estimated to be: $ 273,000,000) and the Indian Self-Determination Fund ($5 million). The Administration and Congress provide non-binding estimates as to what the total will be.
The Act states:
For payments to tribes and tribal organizations for contract support costs associated with Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act agreements with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for fiscal year 2017, such sums as may be necessary, which shall be available for obligation through September 30, 2018: Provided, That notwithstanding any other provision of law, no amounts made available under this heading shall be available for transfer to another budget account.
The Explanatory Statement explains:
The bill provides an indefinite appropriation for contract support costs, consistent with fiscal year 2016 and estimated to be $278,000,000.
Carryover Authority Language Discontinued. The Act, consistent with the request of many tribes and tribal organizations, does not repeat the CSC language which was in the FY 2016 appropriations act for both the BIA and the IHS that could be read to deny the carryover authority granted by the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. The House Report directs, “Language addressing contract funds that go unspent in a given fiscal year is discontinued.” The Senate Report explains “The Committee also modified the language to delete a provision that contradicted certain provisions of the Indian Self Determination Act.” Thus, the Act does not contain this FY 2016 provision: “amounts obligated but not expended by a tribe or tribal organization for contract support costs for such agreements for the current fiscal year shall be applied to contract support costs otherwise due for such agreements for subsequent fiscal years.”
General Provisions Continued.
The Act states:
Contract Support Costs, Prior Year Limitation
Sec. 405. Sections 405 and 406 of division F of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235) shall continue in effect in fiscal year 2017.
Contract Support Costs, Fiscal Year 2017 Limitation
Sec. 406. Amounts provided by this Act for fiscal year 2017 under headings “Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service, Contract Support Costs” and “Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education, Contract Support Costs” are the only amounts available for contract support costs arising out of self-determination or self-governance contracts, grants, compacts, or annual funding agreements for fiscal year 2017 with the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Indian Health Service: Provided, That such amounts provided by this Act are not available for payment of claims for contract support costs for prior years, or for repayment of payments for settlement or judgments awarding contract support costs for prior years.
FY 2016 Enacted $193,973,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $197,017,000
FY 2017 Enacted $192,017,000
The Construction budget includes: Education Construction; Public Safety and Justice Construction; Resources Management Construction; and Other Program Construction/ General Administration.
FY 2016 Enacted $138,245,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $138,257,000
FY 2017 Enacted $133,257,000
The Education Construction sub-activities are: Replacement School Construction; Replacement Facility Construction; Employee Housing Repair; and Facilities Improvement and Repair.
The Administration requested and Congress provided a continuation of the strong funding levels from FY 2016. The $5 million “decrease” between FY 2016 and FY 2017 is attributed to fact that in FY 2016 Congress provided, on top of the other increases in the Education Construction activity, a one-time additional $5 million “surge” of funding to reduce the backlog of critical deferred maintenance projects.
For FY 2017, Congress and the Administration continue their commitment to funding school repair and construction while continuing to grapple with how to craft a comprehensive, long-term solution to this matter. The Explanatory Statement and House and Senate report language each provide direction to the Bureau regarding both the completion of the school replacement list created in 2016 by the National Review Committee as well as the need for a long-term, comprehensive plan to fund school repair and replacement throughout the entire BIE-funded school system.
2016 National Review Committee List and Creation of a 2018 List.
The Explanatory Statement directs:
The Bureau is directed to submit an allocation plan to the Committees for campus-wide replacement and facilities replacement within 30 days of enactment of this Act.
Indian Affairs is directed to reallocate $2,000,000 from prior year unobligated balances in order to accelerate advance planning and design of replacement schools and school facilities as proposed. Of these unobligated balances, $1,000,000 shall be from the Construction Management activity and $1,000,000 shall be from the General Administration activity.
The House Report directs:
The Committee recognizes the School Facilities & Construction Negotiated Rulemaking Committee was established under Public Law 107–110 for the equitable distribution of funds. Appropriations in this bill for campus-wide replacement are limited to the 10 schools selected via the rulemaking committee process and published by Indian Affairs on April 5, 2016 (www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/ AS–IA/OFECR/index.htm). The BIE should submit a similar list for facilities with the fiscal year 2018 budget request.
National Fund for Excellence in American Indian Education.
The Explanatory Statement directs:
The agreement does not include an authorizing provision in the House bill to reconstitute the National Fund for Excellence in American Indian Education. The Committees continue to strongly support innovative financing options to supplement annual appropriations and accelerate repair and replacement of Bureau of Indian Education schools, including through the use of construction bonds, tax credits, and grant programs. The Department is urged to revise and resubmit its proposal to reconstitute the Fund and to include authority for the Fund to facilitate public-private partnership construction projects.
The House Report language countermanded by the Explanatory Statement is here:
To that end, the bill includes a general provision in Title I, which builds upon the President’s proposal to reconstitute the National Fund for Excellence in American Indian Education (Fund).
The Title I general provision would reconstitute the Fund as a federally chartered corporation affiliated with a 501(c)(3) national organization whose mission is to represent Native American students and educators for the improvement of schools and the education of Native children. The Fund would be authorized to leverage a portion of the annual construction appropriation with philanthropic donations of funds and property, and with other sources of Federal financing such as Qualified School Construction Bonds, New Markets Tax Credits, historical tax credits, and Federal grant programs.
Long-Term Repair and Replacement Plan.
The House Report directs:
Looking ahead beyond the completion of the schools and component facilities on such lists, the Committee remains concerned that the current approach to construction focuses on only a subset of schools and requires those schools to submit applications and compete for the funding. A more comprehensive, long-term planning approach is needed for every campus and component facility in the BIE system, modeled after the Department of Defense Education Activity. Indian Affairs is therefore directed to publish a report on the status of its education construction program no later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act. The report shall include, at a minimum:
(1) A comprehensive list of all current BIE schools and a quality assessment of each school’s facilities (including dormitories and employee housing), indicating where facilities are nonexistent, undersized, or otherwise inadequate to support education and associated wellness programs including native language and other cultural programs;
(2) A comprehensive list, which shall incorporate student enrollment projections as well as space for language and other cultural programming, of all construction projects and costs required to bring entire school campuses and component facilities up to industry standards and eliminate temporary facilities;
(3) An estimate of the total annual sustainment, restoration, and modernization funds required to maintain the facilities of each BIE school up to code and in good condition; and
(4) A complete accounting of the process and status of facilities health, safety, and condition inspections.
The Committee recognizes the tremendous costs needed to bring and maintain all BIE schools up to code and in good condition, and the futility of doing so in a reasonable timeframe with funds provided solely via this annual appropriation. The Committee continues to look for innovative ways to leverage this appropriation with other sources of Federal financing, such as existing tax credits, in order to more quickly replace the substandard facilities throughout the BIE system.
The Senate Report directs:
The Committee understands many schools are in need of repair, improvement, and upgrades in order to bring schools into good condition. The Committee stands ready to work with the administration and tribes to develop a comprehensive strategy that provides safe, functional, and accessible facilities for schools. The Committee directs the Bureau to report back within 90 days of enactment of this act on the progress the Bureau has made towards implementing a long-term facilities plan similar to the Department of Defense [DOD] process in 2009 as encouraged in the joint explanatory statement accompanied by Public Law 114–113.
PUBLIC SAFETY & JUSTICE (PS&J) CONSTRUCTION
FY 2016 Enacted $11,306,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $11,306,000
FY 2017 Enacted $11,306,000
The Public Safety & Justice Construction sub-activities are: Facilities Replacement/New Construction; Employee Housing; Facilities Improvement and Repair; Fire Safety Coordination; Fire Protection.
Joint Venture Demonstration Program. The House Report directs:
The Committee is concerned that Indian Affairs’ focus on alternatives to incarceration has come at a cost to justice facilities construction. Indian Affairs, in coordination with the Department of Justice, is therefore urged to consider including with its fiscal year 2018 budget request a legislative proposal for a joint venture demonstration program for regional justice centers, similar to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Justice Center, and modeled after the joint venture program for Indian health facilities.
RESOURCES MANAGEMENT CONSTRUCTION
FY 2016 Enacted $34,488,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $36,513,000
FY 2017 Enacted $36,513,000
The Resources Management Construction sub-activities are: Irrigation Project Construction; Engineering and Supervision; Survey and Design; Federal Power and Compliance; and Dam Projects.
OTHER PROGRAM CONSTRUCTION/ GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
FY 2016 Enacted $ 9,934,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $10,941,000
FY 2017 Enacted $10,941,000
The Other Program Construction sub-activities are: Telecommunications Improvement and Repair; Facilities/Quarters Improvement and Repair; and Construction Program Management.
INDIAN LAND AND WATER CLAIMS SETTLEMENTS AND MISCELLANEOUS PAYMENTS TO INDIANS
FY 2016 Enacted $49,475,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $55,155,000
FY 2017 Enacted $45,045,000
In the Explanatory Statement, Congress provided $10 million less than the Administration’s request, directing the BIA as follows:
The bill provides $45,045,000 for Indian Land and Water Claims Settlements and Miscellaneous Payments to Indians. In addition, the Bureau shall reallocate $5,916,000 in prior-year unobligated funds that remain after completion of settlement requirements, for a total program level of $50,961,000. The Department is directed to submit an allocation plan for these funds to the Committees within 90 days of enactment of this Act.
The House Report further notes:
The recommended level enables Indian Affairs to meet statutory deadlines of all authorized settlement agreements to date.
The Committee supports the Department’s efforts to fulfill commitments relating to Indian water rights settlements and its participation in negotiations of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement.
INDIAN GUARANTEED LOAN PROGRAM
FY 2016 Enacted $7,748,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $7,757,000
FY 2017 Enacted $8,757,000
Congress provided $1 million above the Administration’s request, with the House Report describing the Indian Guaranteed Loan Program as “the most effective Federal program tailored, dedicated to, and capable of facilitating greater access to private capital for Indian tribes and Indian-owned economic enterprises.” The Senate Report clarifies that the total loan principal provided is not to exceed $119,907,851.
OTHER RELATED AGENCIES
OFFICE OF NAVAJO-HOPI INDIAN RELOCATION
FY 2016 Enacted $15,000,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $15,431,000
FY 2017 Enacted $15,431,000
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
TRIBAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION
FY 2016 Enacted $ 9,985,000
FY 2017 Admin. Request $11,985,000
FY 2017 Enacted $10,485,000
If we may provide additional information or assistance regarding FY 2017 INDIAN AFFAIRS, OTHER RELATED AGENCIES, or NATIONAL PARK SERVICE appropriations, please contact us at the information below.