Indian Trust Funds: Tribal Account Holders' Responses to Reconciliation Results

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-05-23.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Accounting and Information
      Management Division


      May 23, 1997
      The Honorable Ben Nighthorse Campbell
      The Honorable Daniel K Inouye
      Vice Chair
      Committee on Indian Affairs
      United States Senate

      Subject: Indian Trust Funds.. Tribal
                                      * Account Holders’ReslDonsesTV
                      . . .
               Reconctiation ResulQ
      This letter responds to your April 24, 1997, request that we provide information
      on the status of account holders’responses to the Department of the Interior’s
      tribal trust fund reconciliation project results. As of May 6, 1997, Interior had
      sent reports on reconciliation results to 310 account holders whose tribal trust
      fund accounts contained balances between July 1, 1973, and September 30, 1996.
      Interior asked those account holders to return attestation statements indicating
      whether the account holders accept or dispute the reconciliation results. Interior
      previously reported to the Congressthe status of tribal trust fund account
      holders’responsesas of April 30, 1996, and aa of November 1, 1996.

      Information we obtained from Interior’s Office of the Special Trustee (OST)
      indicates that of the 310 account holders to which Interior sent reconaon
      reports, 139 had responded to Interior as of May 6, 1997. Of the account holders
      that responded,41 accepted the reconciliation results, 61 disputed the
      reconciliation results, and 47 requested more time and/or a meeting with OST
  4   officials to consider whether to accept or dispute the reconciliation results.
      Information on the status of tribal trust fund account holders’responses as of
      April 30, 1996,November 1,.1996,and May 6, 1997,is provided in an enclosure to
      this letter. We obtained but, as agreed with your staff, did not independently
      verify the information on the status of account holders’responses provided or
      previously reported by OST.

                                   GAOIAIMD-97-102RTribes’Reconciliation Responses
                                                                             .   .

Pleasecontact me at (202) 612-8341or Gayle Fischer, Assistant Director, at (202)
612-9677, if you or your staff have any questions conckning this information.

Linda M. Calbom
Director, Civil Audits

                             GAOLUMD-97-102RTribes’Reconciliation Responses
ENCLOSURE                                                                   ENCLOSURE

The following table shows the status as of April 30, 1996,November 1, 1996, and May 6,
1997, of tribal trust fund account holders’responsesto Interior’s reconciliation reports.
As can be seen in the table totals, OST sent reconciliation reports to additional account
holders between April 30, 1996,the first status date, and May 6, 1997, the most recent
status date. OST officials told us that they currently have no followup efforts underway
to obtain responses from the 171 account holders that have not yet responded. The table
does not include information on account balancesbecause this information was not
readily available.’ We did not independentlyveri@ the information, which we obtained
from OST.

       uested more time

    that received
    reconciliation   report8


‘As agreed with Committee staff, we asked OST to provide information on the dollar
balances for each of the four tribal account holder response categories shown in the
table. However, OST officials told us that they were unable to provide reliable dollar
balance information in time to meet our reporting needs because their resources are
currently devoted to supporting Interior’s efforts on (1) litigation related to Individual
Indian Monies (IIM) account balancesand (2) a legislative proposal for settlement of
tribal trust fund account balances.

3                                     GAO/AIMD-97-102RTribes’Reconciliation Responses
: I

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