National

AP review uncovers tribal mismanagement of federal funds






AP Video: Tribes found mishandling money

Tribes are more likely to mishandle federal funds than other groups, according to a review by the Associated Press.

Based on summaries of audits covering 551 tribal programs, nearly 25 percent “material weaknesses," the AP said. That was five times higher than the rate for local governments and non-profits.

Despite the known problems, the federal government almost never recovers the misappropriated funds. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, for example, has only collected $2.3 million of nearly $69 million in questionable expenditures, according to the AP.

The Department of the Interior bends over backwards to be their friends,” said Earl Devaney, the agency's former inspector general, told the AP “It’s ‘make nice,’ and what you don’t know, you don’t know.”

The record at the Environmental Protection Agency wasn't much better. Of the $33 million in questionable spending over the past 10 years, only about $3 million has been recovered, the AP said.

Get the Story:
Audits show Indian tribes mishandle millions in fed funds, suffer few consequences (AP 10/7)