High Risk: Actions Needed to Address Serious Weaknesses in Federal Management of Programs Serving Indian Tribes, Statement of Melissa Emrey-Arras, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security, Frank Rusco, Director, Natural Resources and Environment , and Kathleen M. King, Director, Health Care, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 3MB]

"GAO's [Government Accountability Office] High-Risk Series identifies federal program areas needing attention from Congress and the executive branch. GAO added federal management of programs that serve Indian tribes and their members to its 2017 biennial update of high-risk areas in response to serious problems in management and oversight by Interior and HHS [Department of Health and Human Services]. This testimony primarily summarizes the findings and recommendations from GAO's prior reports on the federal management and oversight of Indian education, energy resources, and health care, which are discussed in GAO's February 2017 High-Risk report. To conduct this work, GAO reviewed relevant federal laws, regulations, and policies; reviewed and analyzed federal data; and interviewed tribal, federal, and industry officials, among others. GAO uses five criteria to assess an agency's progress in addressing high-risk areas: (1) leadership commitment, (2) agency capacity, (3) an action plan, (4) monitoring efforts, and (5) demonstrated progress. [...] As discussed in the February 2017 High-Risk Report, Interior and HHS have not implemented nearly 40 of GAO's recommendations on management and oversight of federal programs for Indian tribes on education, energy, and health care. Sustained focus by Interior and HHS in implementing GAO's recommendations and continued oversight by Congress are essential to achieving progress in these areas."

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