indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Printer friendly version
BIA working on sending out IIM checks
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2001

Thanks to the hard work of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Interior will be ready to send out checks to as many as 43,000 Individual Indian Money beneficiaries, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

As soon as special master Alan Balaran signs off on the government's plan to reconnect the relevant systems, the checks will go out the door, said Nedra Darling. She didn't have an indication of the dollar amount that will be distributed but said $15 million was sent out last December.

"It's the holiday season," Darling said of the BIA workers, "but they can't leave until all payments get sent out."

"They understood their first priority is making sure that payments are made to Indian Country."

Under an order entered by a federal judge, the Interior is required to work with Balaran to ensure its information technology systems can be operated safely without putting the assets of 300,000 American Indians at risk. Balaran and hackers he hired were able to break into the systems during the summer and alter, create and delete trust data -- all without the Interior noticing.

As such, Balaran must approve the Interior's efforts to reconnect its information technology infrastructure. He received the government's plan for the Integrated Records Management System (IRMS), the Trust Fund Accounting System (TFAS) and a related system on Monday night, said Darling.

But there was some reservations about whether the plan was adequate, said Darling. "We heard late this afternoon that he still needs assurances," she said.

"We are working on those and we hope to have them ready this morning," Darling added.

The IRMS was one of several systems Balaran and a computer security firm named Predictive Systems were able to break into. Known as a "legacy" system, IRMS contains six database that contain, among other data, leasing and ownership information for individual Indians.

Balaran and the hackers discovered that they could gain "complete control" to an IRMS server because it had a "blank" password. Predictive could modify and delete user accounts, meaning it could prevent authorized Interior users from entering the system and give access to non-authorized outsiders.

No specific vulnerabilities to the the TFAS were noted, but some of the information in a report unsealed last month was redacted. TFAS contains account balances of all IIM accounts and 1,400 tribal ones and has been in use since 1999.

Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles has been overseeing the effort to put the Interior's computer systems back online after he authorized a department wide shutdown on December 6 in response to U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth's order to protect IIM assets. Acting BIA Chief Information Officer Debbie Clark is coordinating the effort for her agency.

Due to the security violations, Secretary Gale Norton is facing contempt citations. Her attorneys attempted to get the charge dropped but Lamberth scolded them for bickering over an agreement to resolve the issue while funds to Indian people were being delayed.

"I think their actions, or lack thereof, have prejudiced the beneficiaries but also prejudiced many innocent and unconnected third parties," he said on Monday.

Separately, the Interior has been manually processing general assistance funds for tribes. The BIA was able to work out a contract with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Dakota to get about 6,400 checks printed out and distributed this week.

Today on Indianz.Com:
Taking lead on trust reform proves tough for Griles (12/19)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://www.doi.gov/indiantrust
Office of the Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Trust Management Improvement Project - http://www.doi.gov/bia/trust/tmip.htm
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com

Related Stories:
Judge orders Interior reconnect (12/18)
Interior shutdown was 'overreaction' (12/18)
'Not be a very bright Christmas' (12/18)
Cost of Interior shutdown not known (12/17)
Interior computer agreement dropped (12/14)
Interior computer order finalized (12/13)
Editorial: Still ripping off Indians (12/12)
Griles in charge of IT reform (12/11)
Floods more important than Indians (12/10)
Judge holds security hearing (12/8)
DOI Shutdown: 'We're Hurting Tribes' (12/7)
From the top, a gamble in trust (12/7)
Norton acknowledges Internet problems (12/7)
'We're in the Dark' (12/7)
Judge orders Interior to cut Internet access (12/6)
Security contempt charge added (12/6)
Transcript of Dec. 5 trust fund hearing (12/6)
Interior doesn't understand court order (12/6)
Judge cuts trust fund access(12/5)
Report reveals attacks on tribal, Indian trust (12/5)
No Trust: Hacking the Department of Interior (12/5)
Judge holding secret hearings (12/4)
New: Security report released (12/4)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Harvest the Hope concert unites Keystone foes (10/2)
Mark Trahant: A lot stake for Native voters in Montana this year (10/2)
BIA extends comment period for changes to rights-of-way rule (10/2)
Navajo Nation won't delay election despite presidential dispute (10/2)
Column: Joba Chamberlain shares his life story through tattoos (10/2)
Washington city could turn Columbus Day into Coast Salish Day (10/2)
Cherokee Nation chief apologizes for attending live pigeon shoot (10/1)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Telling the indigenous story with public art (10/1)
DOI puts another $1M from lands sales into Cobell scholarships (10/1)
9th Circuit bars use of tribal conviction in domestic assault case (10/1)
2nd Circuit rebuffs tribal online lenders in dispute with New York (10/1)
Crystal Willcuts: A tribute to my mother who was lost to cancer (10/1)
Seneca Nation man launches campaign for mayor of Salamanca (10/1)
BIA ends comment period on reform to federal recognition rule (10/1)
African-American lawmakers accuse Pamunkey Tribe of racism (10/1)
Officials claim Oklahoma owed $30M in Impact Aid for schools (10/1)
FCC will consider petition to outlaw R-word on public airwaves (10/1)
BLM struggles to manage wild horse population as herds grow (10/1)
Opinion: North Fork Rancheria casino brings boost to economy (10/1)
Report places economic impact of US gaming industry at $240B (10/1)
Shinnecock Nation gaming partner cut $250K monthly payment (10/1)
Column: Seminole Tribe poised for continued growth in gaming (10/1)
Native Sun News: Agency weighs uranium mine near sacred site (9/30)
Jim Abourezk: South Dakota tribes can put Rick Weiland in office (9/30)
Cherokee chief participated in live pigeon shoot for Sen. Inhofe (9/30)
Navajo vice president returns home after near fatal spider bite (9/30)
North Dakota tribe sees big problems as energy industry grows (9/30)
Andre Cramblit: Another year brings challenges for our people (9/30)
Jack Duran: State's 'shocking' attack on Big Lagoon Rancheria (9/30)
Navajo Nation Council to select a new leader after resignation (9/30)
Editorial: Long delayed trust fund settlement for Navajo Nation (9/30)
Keepseagle plaintiffs oppose use of $380M to create foundation (9/30)
Opinion: Working with New Mexico tribes to protect sacred sites (9/30)
Pueblo man chosen as chair of VA minority advisory committee (9/30)
Woman sues over fall at Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe business (9/30)
Seminole Tribe makes another attempt to join banking business (9/30)
Mohegan Tribe purchases more wood pellet production facilities (9/30)
Ponca Tribe takes down old headquarters and readies new home (9/30)
Native Mob gang leader sentenced to 43 years in federal prison (9/30)
Three indicted for murder of man from Northern Arapaho Tribe (9/30)
Rivals funded DC trips to oppose Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/30)
American Gaming Association includes tribes in economic report (9/30)
Editorial: Vote yes to support North Fork Rancheria gaming deal (9/30)
Editorial: Florida shouldn't take a gamble with casino expansion (9/30)
Tim Giago: All Indian people ask is for America to honor treaties (9/29)
Native Sun News: Tribes take on IRS and win battle over taxation (9/29)
Mark Trahant: Indian vote could bring a surprise in South Dakota (9/29)
Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act signed into law by Obama (9/29)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.