Monday, June 25, 2007

Tribal Self Governance

TRIBAL SELF GOVERNANCE:

Tribal Self Governance rules are covered under CFR Title 25 Chapter 6.

Tribes must meet the following criteria for self governance:

Be a federally recognized tribe as defined in Public Law 93-638;

Tribal governing body with an official action, presents a written formal request to enter negotiations with the Department of Interior under the Tribal Self-Governance Act authority;

Demonstrate financial stability and financial management capability by furnishing organization-wide single audit reports for the previous three years. These audits must not contain material audit exceptions;

A final planning report must be submitted which demonstrates that the tribe has conducted-- (1) Legal and budgetary research; and (2) Internal tribal government and organizational planning;

Tribes may submit their applications at any time. The application should state which year the tribe desires to enter negotiations.

Upon receipt of an application, it is reviewed and determined whether or not it is complete.

Upon determination that it is complete, the name of the tribe or consortium will be included in the official applicant pool. Incomplete submissions will be returned with the deficiencies identified. Revised applications may be resubmitted for consideration at any time.

A master list of ranking, based on receipt of the complete application, is prepared and updated from year to year. When two or more applications are received at the same time, the following factors are used to determine priority:

Designations by Congress in a report that states a particular tribe should participate;

Documentation of Office of Self Governance sanctioning of the tribe's self-governance planning and subsequent evidence of actual planning by the tribe;

Submission of a completed planning or negotiation grant application in the previous year;
A signed agreement pursuant to the Indian Health Service self-governance project;

Receipt of a planning grant awarded by the Indian Health Service.

Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis. (b) Applications may be mailed or hand-delivered. (d) Applications must be sent to: Director, Office of Self Governance, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW., MIB RM/MS- 2548, Washington, DC 20240.

Grants are available to help meet the costs of planning and negotiations. There are three types of grants: Negotiation grants for tribes selected from the applicant pool, Planning grants for tribes requiring advance funding to meet the planning phase requirement; and Financial assistance for tribes to plan for negotiating for non-BIA programs, services, functions and activities. Grants are only available depending on funding. In many instances tribe will have to use their own funding sources to meet the costs of attaining self governance status.

Funding for grants are given the following priorities: first priority to those that have been selected from the applicant pool to negotiate an annual funding agreement; second priority to tribes that require advance funds to meet the planning requirement for entry into the self-governance program, third priority to tribes that require negotiation/planning funds to negotiate for DOI non-BIA programs. The number and size of grants awarded each year will depend on Congressional appropriations and tribal interest. Each year, a notice is published in the Federal Register which provides relevant details about the application process, including: The funds available, timeframes, and requirements for negotiation and advance planning.

The tribe must submit a letter affirming its readiness to negotiate and formally request a negotiation grant to prepare for and negotiate a self-governance agreement. These grants are not competitive.

An application is required for planning grants. Within 30 days of the deadline for submitting applications we will notify the tribe by letter whether it has been selected to receive an advance planning grant.

An application is required for grants of planning and negotiations of non-BIA programs. The award of such grants is discretionary.

More information on funding under self governance:
http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_07/25cfr1000_07.html

Federal Code of Regulations pertaining to Indians:
http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_07/25cfrv1_07.html#1000

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