"A few weeks ago, I received a series of emails from an employee at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which came in response to my recent article on that agency. This employee was deeply concerned about poverty on Indian reservations, but he was also outraged at the dysfunction, misspending, and nepotism he has found at the BIA. Here are a few of his comments:
I started to discover that the nepotism at the BIA in D.C. is out of control. There is a custom of parents getting their children jobs in the BIA and they have twisted loyalties to each other that span generations … It is so easy to turn a blind eye [to bad behavior] by a family member… A lot of the decisions the BIA has made have been based on these family connections that have allowed corruption to exist.
You have urban Indians who have never lived on a reservation who use their ethnicity to claim entitlement to their jobs and could care less about improving conditions on the reservations.
The Inspector General investigates and reports to the BIA leadership, which in turn stalls on doing anything about the corruption and turns a blind eye.
Many of the top people in the BIA have gotten their positions based on favoritism or nepotism and are not qualified for their jobs.
The way it works in the BIA is that you put in the years and you get promoted. The other way is you use your family connections to get the next promotion. I wish I had the power to fire unqualified, incompetent employees, and I would [only] have to hire about 1/2 of the employees of the whole agency…""
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