Opinion

Jay Daniels: BIA still failing to provide contract support costs





"Sitting here at 1:00 AM just wondering what this year, 2013, will bring to Indian Country. Currently watching the Senate vote on the budget deal and it’s apparent that Indian Country will lose no matter what the outcome is.

Why? Don’t even consider how it impacts every American in terms of economic impact, and Indian Counry for the same reasons. Because in Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, et al. v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, et al., No. 11–551. Argued April 18, 2012—Decided June 18, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court Held: The Government must pay each Tribe’s contract support costs in full. That conclusion followed directly from well-established principles of Government contracting law: When a Government contractor is one of several persons to be paid out of a larger appropriation sufficient in itself to pay the contractor, the Government is responsible to the contractor for the full amount due under the contract, even if the agency exhausts the appropriation in service of other permissible ends. This case involved Indian tribes that sued the government because it did not pay all of the costs it had promised to cover when the two sides made their deal for the tribe to provide education and other government-like functions for their members.

The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (“ISDA”) requires that if the United States enters into self determination contracts with Indian tribes and tribal organizations “for the planning, conduct and administration of programs or services which are otherwise provided to Indian tribes and their members pursuant to Federal law.” 25 U.S.C. § 450b(j), the agreements must include contract support costs (“CSCs”) which are the “reasonable costs for activities that must be carried on by a tribal organization as a contractor to ensure compliance with the terms of the contract and prudent management.” 25 U.S.C. § 450j-1(a)(2)."

Get the Story:
Jay Daniels: Better save some of your Cobell, Tribal Trust, and Keepseagle Settlement money (Round House Talk 1/1)