Ron Allen: Mandatory funding needed for contract support costs

Ron Allen. Photo from Ecotrust

Ron Allen, the chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe of Washington, and attorney Philip Baker-Shenk call for mandatory funding of contract support costs in self-determination contracts:
The time has come to fund tribal contract support costs, or “CSC,” from the mandatory federal spending accounts of the federal government, the same as are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest on the national debt, court judgments and other obligations of the United States.

CSC funding covers the indirect costs required to administer multiple federal contracts and grants. It is the common practice with all federal contracting, including military and higher education contracts.

Unlike with other federal contractors, tribes have not received full CSC funding in recent decades. As a consequence, tribes have been forced to divert tribal program funds to pay for these administrative expenses. CSC funding is what fuels tribal services, like gas in a car. You might be able to roll downhill for a while, but your car won’t get very far without it.

Fewer dollars for core tribal administrative functions diminishes a tribe’s ability to effectively serve its tribal citizens. The exercise of tribal sovereignty and governmental functions is like a muscle – if you don’t use it, you lose it. Without administrative funds essential to fulfilling its mission to benefit its citizens, a tribe’s sovereignty and ability to becoming self-reliant is at risk.

Get the Story:
Ron Allen and Philip Baker-Shenk: Why Not Mandate Mandatory CSC Funding? (Indian Country Today 12/28)

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