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BIA acknowledges 'failed' contract with head of team's foundation






Washington Post Video: Gary Edwards discusses Original Americans Foundation.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs said it has implemented new procedures in response to a "failed" contract with the leader of the controversial Original Americans Foundation.

The National Native American Law Enforcement Association promised to deliver 500 "qualified candidates" for the BIA's law enforcement program. But the organization submitted names that were "of no use" to the agency, the Inspector General at the Interior Department said in a May 2012 report.

NNALEA's chief executive officer is Gary L. Edwards, a member of the Cherokee Nation. He was singled out in the OIG report for failing to live up to the terms of the contract, which ended up costing the BIA $1 million in taxpayer funds.

“After the current Office of Justice Services (OJS) management became aware of the previous Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Law Enforcement Recruitment Services Contract with the National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA), the issues that surrounded the failed contract award highlighted the need to improve the administrative guidance and support available to OJS management and field staff," the BIA said in a statement. "OJS has implemented several measures to ensure OJS staff have the appropriate guidance when developing future contracts and are adhering to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR),"

Edwards now serves as CEO of the new Original Americans Foundation. His selection has been defended by Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington professional football team, in the wake of news stories about the BIA contract.

Edwards will run the foundation out of an office in Virginia.

OIG Report:
Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Law Enforcement Recruitment Services Contract with the National Native American Law Enforcement Association (May 9, 2012)

Prior OIG Report:
Bureau of Indian Affairs' Contract With the National Native American Law Enforcement Association Contract No. CBK00090002 (February 2010)

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