More: elections, information collection, ira

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) are proposing to renew an information collection.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the BIA; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the BIA enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the BIA minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Abstract: Under the Indian Reorganization Act, Indian tribes have the right to organize and adopt constitutions, bylaws, and any amendments thereto, and ratify charters of incorporation, through elections called by the Secretary of the Interior, according to rules prescribed by the Secretary. See 25 U.S.C. 476, 477, 503. The Secretary's rules for conducting these elections, known as “Secretarial elections,” and approving the results are at 25 CFR 81. In most cases, the tribe requests a Secretarial election; however, an individual voting member of a tribe may also request a Secretarial election by petition. These rules also establish the procedures for an individual to petition for a Secretarial election.

BIA requires the tribe to submit a formal request for Secretarial election, including: A tribal resolution; the document or language to be voted on in the election; a list of all tribal members who are age 18 or older in the next 120 days (when the election will occur), including their last known addresses, voting districts (if any), and dates of birth, in an electronically sortable format.

While much of the information the tribe prepares for a Secretarial election (e.g., list of members eligible to vote) would be required if the tribe instead conducted its own tribal election, the Secretary's rules establish specifics on what a tribal request or petition for election must contain. These specifics are necessary to ensure the integrity of Secretarial elections and allow Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and tribal personnel the ability to consistently administer elections.