indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
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
Choctaw Nation Trial:
Former Choctaw Nation employee plans appeal in criminal case (11/24)
Choctaw Nation releases statement after guilty verdict in case (11/24)
Former Choctaw Nation employee found guilty after lengthy trial (11/24)
Trial on Choctaw Nation fraud winds down with final testimony (11/24)
Latest News:
Tim Giago: Cornflakes every Sunday at Indian boarding school (11/24)
Charles Trimble: A time to give thanks -- For whatever reason (11/24)
Mark Trahant: Incoming Alaska governor opens doors to tribes (11/24)
Native Sun News: Four from South Dakota win big at rodeo final (11/24)
Suzan Shown Harjo to receive Medal of Freedom at White House (11/24)
Bill John Baker: Take pride in Cherokee Nation accomplishments (11/24)
Bryan Brewer: Tribal communities need better Internet service (11/24)
Harold Monteau: Teach children about our positive tribal values (11/24)
Crystal Willcuts: Keystone XL Pipeline just makes the rich richer (11/24)
PBS: VAWA helps tribes go after non-Indian domestic offenders (11/24)
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate in shock after shooting leaves 4 dead (11/24)
Complaint against Navajo Nation presidential hopeful dismissed (11/24)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe defends online loan business amid scrutiny (11/24)
Chippewa Cree Tribe swears in chairman more than a year later (11/24)
Florida Supreme Court declines Miccosukee child custody case (11/24)
Three arrested in fatal stabbing at Yankton Sioux tribal housing (11/24)
Mille Lacs Band grows economy with Oklahoma hotel purchase (11/24)
Editorial: BIA fails to resolve Cayuga Nation leadership dispute (11/24)
Faction of Chukchansi Tribe walks away from casino mediation (11/24)
Tribal casinos cancel Bill Cosby shows as allegations resurface (11/24)
Editorial: Poarch Creeks control their own destiny with gaming (11/24)
Editorial: Renew Class III gaming compact with Seminole Tribe (11/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux youth to join White House meet (11/21)
Obamas welcome youth from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to DC (11/21)
House passes bill to address Grand Portage Band per capitas (11/21)
House Natural Resources Committee passes three tribal bills (11/21)
Chaske Spencer: Changing the narrative for our Native youth (11/21)
Winona LaDuke: No one believes in the 'black snake' pipeline (11/21)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Tax disparities remain in Indian Country (11/21)
ICT interview with DOI deputy secretary on Cobell buy-backs (11/21)
Oglala Sioux Tribe rounds up dogs after deadly attack on girl (11/21)
Leader of Navajo Nation signs bill for higher tax on junk food (11/21)
North Dakota tribe in negotiations for pipeline to curb flaring (11/21)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe passes language to new generation (11/21)
Little Traverse Bay Bands swear in interim leader after recall (11/21)
Blog: Play-by-play of election controversy on Navajo Nation (11/21)
Column: Theories link Thanksgiving to 1637 Pequot massacre (11/21)
Editorial: Work with Burns Paiute Tribe on land-into-trust bid (11/21)
Ex-employee of Passamaquoddy Tribe admits to drug charge (11/21)
BIA publishes notice of Karuk Tribe Class III gaming compact (11/21)
Oklahoma reports drop in gaming exclusivity fees from tribes (11/21)
Pala Band gears up for official launch of Internet gaming site (11/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux woman shot and killed by police (11/20)
Mark Trahant: Lakota honor song wasn't out of place in Senate (11/20)
Dog attack blamed for death of eight-year-old girl at Pine Ridge (11/20)
DOI issues status report on Cobell land consolidation program (11/20)
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.