President Requests $139 Million for Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians in FY 2015 Washington, D.C. — The President’s fiscal year 2015 budget request for the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) is $139 million, slightly less than the FY 2014 enacted level. The request ensures OST will be able to continue improvements to trust services programs and fully carry out its responsibilities to Indian trust beneficiaries in FY 2015. “OST is the premiere public service organization dedicated to the Indian Fiduciary Trust,” said Principal Deputy Special Trustee Michele F. Singer. “The President’s carefully crafted budget will allow us to continue our cost efficiency and program strengthening initiatives and provide consistent and effective service to Indian trust beneficiaries.” The FY 2015 discretionary budget request of $139 million includes a reduction of $1.6 million in Business Management reflecting a cost savings due to the transition of the printing and mailing of trust fund statements from OST to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The budget fully funds fixed costs changes of $974,000. Key program funding levels proposed in the President’s FY 2015 budget request include $9.9 million for Trust Records, $4.9 million for Trust Review and Audit, $24.9 million for Field Operations, $10.8 million for Appraisal Services, $29.0 million for Trust Services, $23.1 million for Historical Trust Accounting, and $33.6 million for Business Management, including $12.0 million to fund trust related activities in the Office of Hearings and Appeals and the Indian Trust Litigation Office. OST’s operational responsibilities for financial trust fund management include the receipt, investment and disbursement of Indian trust funds and real estate appraisals on Indian trust lands. OST manages nearly $4.6 billion held in over 3,000 trust accounts for more than 250 Indian tribes and 393,000 open Individual Indian Money accounts. During FY 2013, OST prepared its FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan, which charts a path of continuous improvement through effective planning, implementation and follow-through over the next five years. OST’s Strategic Plan aligns with the Department’s Strategic Plan and will generate cost savings and efficiency improvements over its five-year timeframe. Progress on the action items in the plan will be tracked and the overall plan will be updated as tasks are completed. In support of the Administration’s real property cost savings efforts, OST captured $1 million in property savings by moving personnel from commercial space into Department of the Interior space and reducing staff and contractor space. Beginning in FY 2014, OST is reducing lease space in Albuquerque, N.M. by 50 percent, to save another $1 million.
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