House Resources Committee hearing on DOI issues

Internal reports uncover troubled scene at Interior (August 1, 2006)
Update: Due to inclement weather, the hearing has been rescheduled for Friday, February 16, at 10am.

The House Resources Committee is vowing to take an "in-depth" look at the Interior Department at a hearing this Wednesday.

In recent years, the Government Accountability Office and the DOI Inspector General have released a series of reports that question Interior's integrity, abilities and actions. The reports include investigations into former deputy secretary J. Steven Griles, royalty leases that are costing taxpayers billions of dollars, potential conflicts of interest among top Office of Special Trustee officials, mismanagement of Indian trust funds, inaction at a Bureau of Indian Affairs school that contributed to a student's death, dismal conditions at Indian Country jails, an official's "inappropriate" use of his position and questionable deals for friends of the Bush administration.

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-West Virginia), the new chairman of the committee, has said lawmakers have neglected their duty to provide oversight of Interior since the start of the Bush administration in January 2001.

The hearing starts at 10am in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building. Robin M. Nazzaro of the GAO and Earl E. Devaney, the Inspector General at DOI, are expected to testify.

$rl House Resources Committee -
DOI Office of Inspector General -
Government Accountability Office -

Recent GAO Reports:
Office of Special Trustee for American Indians: Financial Statement Audit Recommendations and the Audit Follow-Up Process (February 2007) | The Office of the Special Trustee Has Implemented Several Key Trust Reforms Required by the 1994 Act, but Important Decisions about Its Future Remain (January 2007)

Inspector General Reports:
On Allegations that the National Park Service Improperly Allowed Daniel Snyder to Cut Trees on Government Land (January 2006) | Allegations Concerning Senior Officials of the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians (May 2006) | Investigative Report On David Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife and Parks (May 2006) | Report on Child's Death at Chemawa Indian Boarding School (November 2005) | Collier Family Deal (June 2005) | J. Steven Griles (March 2004) | Final Detention Facility Report (September 2004) | William G. Myers

Related Stories
OST problems still unresolved after 14 years (2/9)
Top OST officials well rewarded for reform work (1/17)
OST questioned on reform agenda by GAO (1/9)
Rahall outlines Indian agenda for 110th Congress (12/11)
Congress urged to study royalty collection at DOI (11/29)
OST contract tied to favors to top officials (7/25)
BIA officials faulted for student's death still at work (7/27)
Editorial: Interior's endless charade on Indian trust (06/10)
OST fares no better under Ross Swimmer's leadership (6/7)
McCain weighs GAO probe of Indian trust debacle (03/10)
Report blames lax culture for Griles ethical 'train wreck' (03/17)