In this Memorandum, we report on the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 proposed budget for Indian Affairs (which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)), as well as a few other selected programs. The proposed federal budget was released quite late (but not unexpectedly so) for the first year of a new Administration. Because the Congress was itself late passing final appropriations bills for FY 2017, the Administration in its budget request compares the FY 2018 request to the FY 2017 Continuing Resolution spending level annualized for the full fiscal year (essentially FY 2016 spending levels) rather than using the FY 2017 enacted amount. For accuracy in this Memorandum, we have individually calculated the differences between the FY 2017 enacted amounts and the Administration’s FY 2018 request.
The Administration proposes large cuts in many programs. Thus far the Appropriations Committees are, by and large, rejecting the Administration’s proposed reductions, including the proposed cuts for Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service.
Congressional Progress and Outlook for FY 2018. On May 16 and 17, 2017, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies continued its recent tradition and held two days of hearings for public witnesses on Indian programs under its jurisdiction. Federal agency witnesses have also testified on the proposed budget. Of note, Congress has yet to adopt a budget resolution setting topline spending numbers for FY 2018 discretionary spending. Despite the lack of certainty for FY 2018, the House has set the topline amount for each Appropriations Subcommittee and has moved aggressively to begin marking up Appropriations bills. These topline Subcommittee allocation numbers may well need to be revisited should Congress adopt a Budget Resolution. Our next Memorandum will compare the House Appropriations Committee’s FY 2018 bill with the Administration’s FY 2018 request. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet set a markup date for its Interior Appropriations bill although it, too, is moving quickly on marking up bills.
INDIAN AFFAIRS (IA) OVERVIEW
For FY 2018, the Administration is requesting $2.4 billion for Indian Affairs. This is $371.1 million less than the FY 2017 enacted amount. The proposed cuts are generally reflected as a 5 percent cut to nearly every single sub-activity and program element, with some singled out for greater cuts or for de-funding altogether. As it would be exhaustive to detail each and every proposed across the board cut, we describe in detail the proposed changes which would: dramatically alter the mission or capabilities funded by a particular sub-activity or program element; are described as a “priority” by the Administration and thus are shielded from larger proposed cuts; or are (rare) proposed increases. In a conference call held after the release of the FY 2018 Budget in Brief summary, Administration officials explained that when crafting the proposed budget, the Department looked to which programs and activities were “getting the most bang for the buck” as well as priorities identified by the Tribal Interior Budget Council (TBIC).
Recent funding priorities such as the day to day operations at BIE schools, replacement school construction and the Tiwahe Initiative are slated for some of the largest cuts. Of note, the Administration includes in its request language which would continue Contract Supports Costs as an “indefinite appropriation” with “such sums as may be necessary” and prioritizes funding for Tribal Grant Support Costs which are essentially the Contract Support Costs of tribally-controlled schools.
Request for Indian Reorganization Act – Carcieri Fix Not Included. Each fiscal year from FY 2011 to FY 2017, the Obama Administration requested 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 Trump Administration did not request this Carcieri Fix language.
OPERATION OF INDIAN PROGRAMS
FY 2016 Enacted $2,267,924,000
FY 2017 Enacted $2,339,346,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $2,082,506,000
Operation of Indian Programs (OIP) budget includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).
Fixed Costs and Transfers. From within this total, the Administration requests $17.1 million for fixed cost increases as well as a number of transfers between accounts.
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
FY 2016 Enacted $1,415,557,000
FY 2017 Enacted $1,447,833,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $1,296,134,000
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 Enacted $308,815,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $290,307,000
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.
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 proposes $160,000 (level funding) to assist the newly-recognized Pamunkey Tribe.
Small and Needy Tribes. This sub-activity is designed to provide small tribes with a minimum Tribal Priority Allocation (TPA) base funding by which they can support their tribal governments. The Administration proposes to zero it out.
Road Maintenance. The Administration requests $28.1 million for this sub-activity and describes it as a $1.1 million “increase” above the FY 2017 Continuing Resolution level, however, compared with the actual FY 2017 enacted amount, it would really be a $2.1 million cut. The Administration describes this proposed amount as consistent with efforts to prioritize infrastructure improvement. The Administration states that “At the requested funding level, the program is expected to provide sufficient maintenance to classify 13 percent of BIA-owned roads in acceptable condition.” (FY 2018 Indian Affairs Budget Justification, p. IA-TG-6)
FY 2016 Enacted $147,004,000
FY 2017 Enacted $159,161,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $123,949,000
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.
Tiwahe Initiative. In addition to proposing cuts for all of the Human Services sub-activities which help support the broader Tiwahe Initiative, the Administration proposes to zero out the funding for those tribes participating in the Tiwahe Initiative demonstration project.
Housing Improvement Program. This sub-activity is designed to help address sub-standard housing and homelessness by providing funding for repairs, renovations, modest construction of replacement homes and or portions of housing down payments to use in conjunction with other federal programs. The Administration proposes to zero it out.
TRUST–NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
FY 2016 Enacted $191,846,000
FY 2017 Enacted $200,992,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $165,462,000
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.
Irrigation Operation and Maintenance. This sub-activity is designed to help manage water resources on Indian lands by provides funding to operate, maintain and rehabilitate irrigation infrastructure. For FY 2018, the Administration proposes a $1.1 million increase, directed towards the Operations and Maintenance for the Gallegos Pumping Plant. In FY 2016, the responsibility for the plant was transferred from the Bureau of Reclamation to the BIA without any accompanying funds.
Endangered Species. This sub-activity is designed to help tribes offset the cost of achieving endangered species compliance when developing their trust resources for economic benefit. The Administration proposes a 50 percent cut.
Tribal Climate Resilience/Cooperative Landscape Conservation. This sub-activity provides grants to tribal governments to assist with climate adaptation and preparedness, particularly to address concerns about availability of subsistence food resources, water and other necessities. The Administration proposes to zero it out.
TRUST–REAL ESTATE SERVICES
FY 2016 Enacted $127,486,000
FY 2017 Enacted $123,092,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $112,046,000
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.
Navajo-Hopi Settlement Program. This sub-activity works to implement the Navajo-Hopi Settlement of 1974 and to further the BIA’s mission by providing for the management, protection, and preservation of agricultural and rangeland resources on the Navajo and Hopi Partitioned Lands. This is the one Trust–Real Estate Services sub-activity for which cuts are NOT proposed.
Alaska Native Programs. This sub-activity funds activities related to the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (subsistence studies and projects); Alaska Native Allotments (archeology and protection of cultural resources); and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (interviews, photographs and recordings of oral history from Native elders). The Administration proposes to zero it out.
Litigation Support/Attorney Fees. This program element is found under the Rights Protection sub-activity and provides assistance to eligible tribes to procure legal services to assist them in establishing or defending tribal rights or protecting tribal trust resources that are guaranteed through treaty, executive order, statute, court decision, or other legal authority. The Administration proposes to zero it out.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND JUSTICE
FY 2016 Enacted $377,423,000
FY 2017 Enacted $385,735,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $349,314,000
The Public Safety and Justice sub-activities are: Law Enforcement; Tribal Courts; and Fire Protection.
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. The Administration proposes to eliminate funding for the Tiwahe Initiative-funded pilot programs focused on reducing recidivism in five targeted Indian communities (funded under the Law Enforcement Special Initiatives program element). The Administration explains, “The measurement period for the pilot programs closes in FY 2017. Implementation plans and practices have been documented, along with multiple years of offender data pointing to success. Starting in 2018, all tribal corrections programs will have access to the implementation plan to continue efforts to reduce recidivism through ‘alternatives to incarceration’ methods.” (FY 2018 Indian Affairs Budget Justification, p. IA-PSJ-2) Further, the Administration proposes to cut $2.4 million from the Detention/Corrections program element (which had been increased in past fiscal years as part of the Tiwahe Initiative to bolster inmate support activities) and cut $8.8 million from the Tribal Courts sub-activity. Of the $8.8 million proposed cut to the Tribal Courts sub-activity (which had been increased in past fiscal years to carry out portions of the Tiwahe Initiative pilot program and then to expand it to five additional sites in FY 2017) $7.4 million of the proposed cut is attributed to discontinuing the pilot program. The remaining $1.4 million cut is to be absorbed the other BIA-funded tribal courts currently receiving funding under this sub-activity.
Tribal Justice Support and PL 280 States. In FYs 2016 and 2017, due in part to the important sentencing provisions enacted for tribes in the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 as well as the needs of tribal courts in PL 280 states identified by Indian Law and Order Commission’s November 2013 report, the Tribal Justice Support program element received important increases. Specifically, in FY 2017, Congress appropriated $17.2 million for the Tribal Justice Support program element, directing that from that amount, “not less than $10,000,000 is to address the needs of Tribes affected by Public Law 83-280. … 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.” (FY 2017 Explanatory Statement).
In FY 2018, the Administration proposes to cut the Tribal Justice Support program element by that same $10 million, stating, “The proposed reduction eliminates funding to ‘asses needs, consider options, and design, develop, and pilot tribal court systems’ for tribes primarily located in jurisdictions subject to Pub. L. 83-280 where states have primary local criminal jurisdiction. … The funding available in FY 2016 and 2017 allowed the assessment of tribal court needs for some tribes in 280 states, primarily in Alaska and California. The FY 2018 budget request will focus on providing technical assistance to tribes, as well as training to tribal court personnel, including tribal court judges, tribal court prosecutors, tribal public defenders, and tribal court management computer systems.” (FY 2018 Indian Affairs Budget Justification, p. IA-PSJ-3)
Cultural Items Unit to Investigate NAGPRA Violations. In FY 2017, Congress specified that from within the $202 million provided for the Criminal Investigations and Police Services program element, there was a $1 million program increase for 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). For FY 2018, the Administration proposes only $190.8 million for the Criminal Investigations and Police Services program element, a cut which could imperil the development of the new Cultural Items Unit.
COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
FY 2016 Enacted $40,619,000
FY 2017 Enacted $41,844,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $39,464,000
The Community and Economic Development sub-activities are: Job Placement and Training; Economic Development; Minerals and Mining; and Community Development Oversight.
Of all of the activities within the OPERATION OF INDIAN PROGRAMS, Community and Economic Development would bear the smallest requested cut from the Administration.
Minerals and Mining including the Indian Energy Service Center. This sub-activity promotes and provides technical assistance for the development of renewable energy, conventional energy, and mineral resources. It also funds the Indian Energy Service Center, which Congress initially funded in FY 2016. The Center is to be tasked with expediting leasing, permitting, and reporting on conventional and renewable energy on Indian lands. For FY 2017, both the House and Senate report language pushed the Department of Interior to get the Energy Service Center up and running, requesting a report on the status of the Center and directing the Department of Interior to submit a budget request for FY 2018 to fund the next phase of the Center. For FY 2018, the Administration proposes to shield the Minerals and Mining sub-activity from the most onerous cuts, specifically protecting the funding for the Indian Energy Service Center.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
FY 2016 Enacted $229,662,000
FY 2017 Enacted $228,824,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $215,592,000
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.
73 FTE Reductions. The bulk of the funding cuts proposed for the Executive Direction and Administrative Services activity can be attributed to the proposed elimination of 73 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions (some of which are currently vacant, time limited or as the Administration has determined, “no longer needed”).
Of this 73 FTE:
• 13 would come from the Assistant Secretary Support sub-activity (from the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs; Office of Public Affairs; Office of Federal Acknowledgment; Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development and Office of Self-Governance);
• 44 would come from the Administrative Services (Central) sub-activity (from the centrally managed administrative positions);
• 11 would come from the Information Resources Technology sub-activity (from the Office of Information Management and Technology); and
• 5 would come from the Human Capital Management sub-activity (from the Office of Human Capital Management).
BUREAU OF INDIAN EDUCATION
FY 2016 Enacted $852,367,000
FY 2017 Enacted $891,513,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $786,372,000
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.
The Administration directs the brunt of its proposed cuts to the Bureau of Indian Education—$105.1 million to be precise – and they would hit both elementary/secondary and higher education programs The Administration explains that, “With these decreases, BIE will focus resources on direct school operations, including classroom instruction, text books, student transportation, language development programs, gifted and talented programs and school maintenance. In addition, in this this budget request, BIE prioritizes areas that promote educational self-determination for tribal communities. This budget request proposes to reduce or eliminate programs that are more narrowly focused, support activities outside the core BIE mission, or are newer programs.” (FY 2018 Indian Affairs Budget Justification, p. IA-BIE-2).
Despite this statement of priorities, the Administration proposes to cut $23.4 million from ISEP Formula Funds (the core account for K-12 schools); cut $5.3 million from Student Transportation; cut $5.9 million from School Facilities Operations; cut $5.5 million from School Facilities Maintenance; and cut $5.7 million from Tribal Grant Support Costs. Other program elements fare even worse, facing requested cuts of up to 50 percent or elimination altogether.
Implementation of the BIE Transformation. The Administration describes the status of the BIE transformation as follows:
The BIE is currently in the process of reorganizing. Phase I involved the realignment of the internal organization of BIE from a regional basis to a structure based on the types of schools serviced; namely, (1) schools in the Navajo Nation, (2) tribally-controlled schools, and (3) BIE-operated schools. Phase I also replaced the Education Line Offices with Education Resource Centers (ERCs) which will house School Solutions Teams. The BIE began implementing Phase I of the reorganization in early 2016 after Congress issued a “notice of no objection” to the BIE. Phase II, to be implemented in 2017, involves a realignment of support operations within Indian Affairs including, contracting, IT, and facilities functions to BIE and includes an expansion of the School Support Solutions Teams to include school operations staff. (FY 2018 Indian Affairs Budget Justification, p. IA-BIE-10)
Continued Limitations on the Expansion of Grades, Charter Schools, Satellite Locations and BIE-funded Schools in Alaska. The Administration requests the continuation of this language from prior years.
Elementary and Secondary Programs (Forward Funded)
FY 2016 Enacted $553,458,000
FY 2017 Enacted $575,155,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $520,044,000
The Elementary and Secondary forward funded sub-activity includes the following program elements: 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 2018 for these programs will become available for obligation on July 1, 2018, for SY 2018-2017.
ISEP Program Adjustments. In FY 2017, Congress conditioned further increases for BIE upon its successful implementation of Government Accountability Office recommendations addressing health and safety issues. The Administration’s FY 2018 budget justification also cites Office of the Inspector General reports highlighting safety and security concerns at BIE schools, noting that many schools used their ISEP Program Adjustment funds to help address unique school safety challenges. The Administration proposes to cut this program element by nearly 50 percent.
Education Program Enhancements. In FY 2017, Congress increased this sub-activity in order to support efforts to revitalize and maintain Native languages and expand the use of language immersion programs. The Administration proposes to cut this program element by nearly 50 percent, noting that the proposed cut will also reduce staffing at the new Education Resource Centers, eliminate the partnership with the National Board Certification Program and eliminate the Sovereignty in Indian Education grant program which facilitates the transfer of management and operation of schools from BIE to tribal and locally-driven school boards.
Tribal Education Departments. This program element helps build the capacity of local, tribal education departments. The Administration proposes a 50 percent cut.
Early Child and Family Development. In FY 2017, Congress provided a $3 million increase in order to expand the Family and Child Education (FACE) program to additional sites. The FACE program is designed to strengthen family-school-community relations, increase parent participation in education, and support parents in their role a child’s first and most important teacher. The Administration proposes a greater than 50 percent cut. The Administration explains that at this spending level, no new sites would be added to the program.
Tribal Grant Support Costs. Because the FY 2018 budget request was written before the final FY 2017 Omnibus was enacted, the Administration used FY 2016 numbers as the budget baseline to compare with the FY 2018 request. By this accounting, the amount requested for Tribal Grant Support Costs in FY 2018 is described by the Administration as an “increase”. This, however, fails to account for the fact that in 2017, more tribes have opted to take over schools from the BIE so Congress, after conferring with the BIE, provided an increase for Tribal Grant Support Costs in order to ensure full funding for all tribally-controlled schools. The Administration’s FY 2018 request states “A major goal of BIE is to facilitate tribal sovereignty over education by encouraging the transfer of management and operation functions of schools from BIE to tribes. In order to encourage further participation by tribes, it is important to ensure that the administrative costs, which accompany the management and operation of tribally-controlled schools, are provided by BIE.” (FY 2018 Indian Affairs Budget Justification, p. IA-BIE-4) The Administration goes on to note that currently, tribes and tribal organizations manage 130 of the 183 elementary and secondary schools and to date, six BIE-operated schools have indicated they want to transfer to tribally-operated status in FY 2018.
Elementary and Secondary Programs (Non-Forward Funded)
FY 2016 Enacted $134,263,000
FY 2017 Enacted $140,540,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $123,871,000
The Elementary and Secondary non-forward funded sub-activity includes the following program elements: Facilities Operations; Facilities Maintenance; Juvenile Detention Center Grants; and Johnson-O’Malley Assistance Grants.
Facilities Operations & Maintenance (O&M). In FY 2017, Congress provided 78 percent of calculated combined Facilities Operations and Facilities Maintenance need across the BIE-funded schools. The FY 2017 House report also directed the Administration to recalculate the annual estimated need according to industry standards, and report any estimated shortfall in future budget justifications. For FY 2018, the Administration requests a $5.9 million cut to Facilities Operations for a total of $60.2 million (estimated to fund 56.7 percent of calculated need) and a $5.5 million cut to Facilities Maintenance for a total of $53.5 million (estimated to fund 117.5 percent of calculated need).
Juvenile Detention Center Grants. In FY 2016, Congress initiated a grant program to meet the education and health related needs of Native youth detained or incarcerated in currently operating BIA-funded juvenile detention centers for an extended period of time. The Administration proposes to zero this out.
Johnson-O’Malley Assistance Grants. Johnson O’Malley (JOM) education grants are provided through tribes and public schools to support Native students who attend public schools. In FY 2017, Congress expressed concern about the accuracy of the JOM student count, requesting a report. For FY 2018, the Administration requested a $4.8 million cut to the JOM program, noting that the last JOM student count was conducted in 1995.
Post Secondary Programs (Forward Funded)
FY 2016 Enacted $74,893,000
FY 2017 Enacted $77,207,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $72,689,000
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)).
Tribal Technical Colleges. The Administration requests an amount that would be $1 million below FY 2017 enacted level, suggesting that the schools, “close existing programs with limited enrollment, reduce the number of courses offered, reduce staff salaries and/or hold to current student enrollment levels.” The other tribal college account is also proposed for a large cut and similar language about limiting enrollment, etc. is utilized as advice for absorbing such a reduction.
Post Secondary Programs (Non-Forward Funded)
FY 2016 Enacted $64,602,000
FY 2017 Enacted $63,581,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $45,721,000
The two post-secondary schools overseen by the BIE 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.
Forward Funding Needed for Haskell and SIPI. In FY 2017, Congress “encouraged” the Bureau to forward fund Haskell and SIPI in future budget requests “so that all tribal colleges are on the same funding schedule.” For FY 2018, the Administration proposed to cut $2.7 million from Haskell and SIPI and declined to request the one-time funding needed to put them on a forward funded schedule, like all of the other tribal colleges.
Scholarships and Adult Education. This program element is designed to improve tribal quality of life by boosting the adult workforce and increase education access for eligible students through financial assistance. The Administration proposes a $9.5 million, (more than 20 percent) cut.
Special Higher Education Scholarships. This program element provides supplemental financial assistance and loans to Native students pursuing professional graduate degrees and funds the Pre-law Summer Institute, which prepares Native students for entering law school. The Administration proposes to zero this out.
Science Post Graduate Scholarship Fund. This program element was established to increase the number of Native post graduate students pursing STEM professions. The Administration proposes to zero this out.
FY 2016 Enacted $25,151,000
FY 2017 Enacted $35,050,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $24,047,000
The Education Management sub-activity consists of Education Program Management and Information Technology.
CONTRACT SUPPORT COSTS
FY 2016 Enacted Such sums as may be necessary
FY 2017 Enacted Such sums as may be necessary
FY 2018 Admin. Request Such sums as may be necessary
The Administration requests that Contract Support Costs (CSC) continue as a as an indefinite appropriation at “such sums as may be necessary” and that it continue in its own separate account comprised of Contract Support (such sums as as may be necessary, estimated to be: $236,600,000) and the Indian Self-Determination Fund ($5,000,000).
The Administration explains that their estimate for Contract Support is based on an analysis of the funding levels in the FY 2018 request. Thus, based on the lower funding levels proposed for FY 2018, the amount estimated to fully fund Contract Support is also lower.
General Provisions Continued.
The Administration requests that the following general provisions be continued:
Contract Support Costs, Prior Year Limitation
Sec. 404. 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 2018.
Contract Support Costs, Fiscal Year 2018 Limitation
Sec. 405. Amounts provided by this Act for fiscal year 2018 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 2018 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 Enacted $192,017,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $143,262,000
The Construction budget includes: Education Construction; Public Safety and Justice Construction; Resources Management Construction; and Other Program Construction/ General Administration.
The Administration requests a staggering $48.7 million reduction to Construction, nearly all of which would come from the Education Construction budget.
FY 2016 Enacted $138,245,000
FY 2017 Enacted $133,257,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $ 80,187,000
The Education Construction sub-activities are: Replacement School Construction; Replacement Facility Construction; Employee Housing Repair; and Facilities Improvement and Repair.
In FY 2017, Congress provided robust funding for Education Construction and urged the Department of Interior to submit with their FY 2018 budget request:
(1) a revised proposal to reconstitute the National Fund for Excellence in American Indian Education, including provisions to facilitate public-private partnership construction projects; and (2) a school replacement list, much like the 2016 list, to determine which schools will be replaced after the 2016 list is completed. Neither the revised proposal nor the new list were included in the Administration’s FY 2018 request. In fact, for FY 2018, the Administration proposes to zero out both Replacement School Construction and Replacement Facility Construction.
Replacement School Construction. This sub-activity replaces entire school campuses in poor condition that have been prioritized on a school replacement list. Currently, there are three schools left on the 2004 list in various stages of construction and 10 schools on the replacement list in various stages of planning and design. The Administration proposes to zero it out and states:
The 2018 budget proposes to suspend funding for Replacement School Construction projects. Using the funds currently available, BIA will continue construction of the three replacement schools currently in the pipeline and designs for each of the 10 schools on the 2016 BIE Replacement School list. Funding from 2017 may enable the funding of one of the schools on the 2016 school replacement list for construction; however, suspension of project funding will delay the construction schedule for the majority of the schools identified on the 2016 BIE Replacement School list. Under the current schedule, several schools are expected to complete the design process in summer 2018. At that time, BIA will make a determination on construction contract awards based on individual school readiness and the available funding. Suspension in funding would limit the option of utilizing a design-build construction approach, which includes offsite construction to save time and money, but requires 100% funding for a project before design can begin. (FY 2018 Indian Affairs Budget Justification, p. IA-CON-ED-1)
Replacement Facility Construction. This sub-activity is described by the Administration as “an essential component of the comprehensive plan to bring all 183 BIE-funded schools and dormitories into acceptable condition.” The Administration proposes to zero it out and states:
The 2018 budget proposes to suspend funding for Replacement Facilities Construction. The Replacement Facilities Construction program allows BIA to replace individual education buildings in critically poor condition at schools. The program will continue the facility replacement project at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School. The Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School project is piloting the use of the offsite design-build approach. BIA is validating this cost model for future projects. Funding from 2017 will be used to initiate the next approved facilities replacement project to be determined through the ranking process. (FY 2018 Budget Justification, p. IA-CON-ED-2)
Facilities Improvement and Repair. The Administration notes that there is currently over $770.4 million in deferred maintenance across BIE-funded school facilities and grounds that need corrective action. The Administration does not propose any cuts in order to “prioritize” this sub-activity.
PUBLIC SAFETY & JUSTICE (PS&J) CONSTRUCTION
FY 2016 Enacted $11,306,000
FY 2017 Enacted $11,306,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $10,416,000
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. In FY 2017, Congress encouraged the Administration to include in its FY 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.” The Administration declined to include such a proposal.
Facilities Improvement and Repair. The Administration notes that there is currently over $39 million in deferred maintenance for public safety facilities. The Administration also proposes a 7 percent reduction for this sub-activity.
RESOURCES MANAGEMENT CONSTRUCTION
FY 2016 Enacted $34,488,000
FY 2017 Enacted $36,513,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $40,696,000
The Resources Management Construction sub-activities are: Irrigation Project Construction; Engineering and Supervision; Survey and Design; Federal Power and Compliance; and Dam Projects.
Irrigation Project Construction. The Administration proposes a $1.5 million increase for the Irrigation Projects-Rehabilitation program element to address critical outstanding maintenance issues at the 17 Indian Irrigation Projects and a $724,000 increase to the Survey and Design program element to fast track the technical modernization studies needed to complete this rehabilitation work.
Dam Projects. The Administration proposes a $2.4 million increase for the Safety of Dams program element to support award of construction contracts for one or more of the 11 dam safety rehabilitation projects already designed or with expected design completion in FY 2018 and a $1.8 million increase for the Dam Maintenance program element to prioritize deferred maintenance projects at the 138 BIA dams classified as “high hazard.” There is currently an identified deferred maintenance need of $538 million.
OTHER PROGRAM CONSTRUCTION/ GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
FY 2016 Enacted $ 9,934,000
FY 2017 Enacted $10,941,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $11,963,000
The Other Program Construction sub-activities are: Telecommunications Improvement and Repair; Facilities/Quarters Improvement and Repair; and Construction Program Management.
Telecommunications Improvement and Repair. The Administration proposes a $263,000 increase to support the repair and modernization of BIA telecommunication systems across the regions and agencies.
Facilities/Quarters Improvement and Repair. The Administration proposes a $1.7 million increase to fund deferred maintenance projects at BIA Administration facilities. There is approximately $253 million of deferred maintenance.
INDIAN LAND AND WATER CLAIMS SETTLEMENTS AND MISCELLANEOUS PAYMENTS TO INDIANS
FY 2016 Enacted $49,475,000
FY 2017 Enacted $45,045,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $13,999,000
The Administration states, “Funding allocations to enacted settlements in 2018 are contingent on the operating plan developed for FY 2017. The 2017 operating plan was not complete at the time the Budget Justification was written. An updated proposal for 2018 allocations will be provided once the 2017 operating plan is complete.” (FY 2018 Indian Affairs Budget Justification, p. IA-SET-3)
INDIAN GUARANTEED LOAN PROGRAM
FY 2016 Enacted $7,748,000
FY 2017 Enacted $8,757,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $6,692,000
In FY 2017, Congress described 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.” For FY 2018, the Administration proposes a $2 million cut.
OTHER RELATED AGENCIES
OFFICE OF NAVAJO-HOPI INDIAN RELOCATION
FY 2016 Enacted $15,000,000
FY 2017 Enacted $15,431,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $14,970,000
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
TRIBAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION
FY 2016 Enacted $ 9,985,000
FY 2017 Enacted $10,485,000
FY 2018 Admin. Request $ 8,996,000
The Administration states, “The proposed reduction would impact the tribes’ capacity to conduct cultural and historic preservation activities and to participate in required consultation on federally-funded projects that impact tribal land or any historic property to which a tribe attaches religious or cultural significance.” (FY 2018 National Park Service Budget Justification, p. 31)
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.