BIA took large administrative fee for Quapaw land consolidation
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011
In 2003, Congress earmarked $1 million
to help the Quapaw Tribe
of Oklahoma consolidate its land base, which sits on the largest Superfund
site in the U.S.
Consolidation has helped facilitate cleanup at Tar Creek
, reduce fractionation and promote economic development, Chairman John Berrey said at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee
But the tribe only benefited from about half of the earmark because the Bureau of Indian Affairs
took a huge administrative fee.
According to a letter
that Berrey supplied to the committee, the BIA only spent $482,292 of the earmark to acquire land for the tribe. The remaining, $538,874 was used by the Miami agency
With $1.9 billion in land consolidation funds being provided by the Cobell Indian trust fund lawsuit
, Berrey said the administrative costs are a major concern. The settlement allows the BIA to take 15 percent -- or about $285 million -- for its own use.
"Our hope is that you might create some sort of tool or some process that keeps the bureau from using that money for administrative costs that aren't necessary for land consolidation," Berrey testified.
The BIA did not provide testimony at the hearing.
HEARING on "The American Indian Probate Reform Act: Empowering Indian Land
(August 4, 2011)
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hearing on probate
(8/4) Witness List: Senate
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