Secretary of the Interior Don Hodel today announced an FY 1989 budget for the Department that maintains funding levels for the Department's key operating programs, improves management of the Nation's water resources and adds funds to help eliminate hazardous wastes and contaminants affecting Interior activities.
The Department of the Interior announced today the opening of competitive bidding to contract for services to strengthen internal management and administration of more than $1.8 billion of Indian trust funds. Ross Swimmer, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, said the consultation process outlined in an April 15, 1987, Federal Register notice has been completed and it is time to move on to the competitive bidding to procure collection, accounting, advisory investment services and custodial services for funds held in trust for Indian tribes, individuals and others.
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ross Swimmer has informed Indian tribal leaders that almost $3 million could be saved over a five year period by using a private contractor for services to strengthen internal management and administration of more than $1.8 billion in Indian trust funds. The $3 million figure was arrived at in cost comparisons between the proposal of a selected bidder and an in-house Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) proposal.
Ross Swimmer, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, has reassigned Wilson Barber, Jr., currently Navajo area director in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office at Window Rock, Arizona, and James H. Stevens, currently BIA area office director in Phoenix. Barber will be moving to Phoenix and Stevens will take over the area director's job in Window Rock.
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Ross Swimmer said today he supports the repair of existing Navajo homes on Hopi Partitioned Lands (HPL) in northern Arizona, but pledged legal recourse if evidence is found new home construction is underway in the area.
"We have always maintained that existing law and court orders allow for repair and it has never been our position that such repairs are prohibited," Swimmer said. "But if new home construction is started on the HPL, we will have no choice but to seek appropriate legal action to stop the Navajo Tribe from breaking federal law.
The Department of the Interior today signed a contract with Security Pacific National Bank of Los Angeles to strengthen internal management and administration of more than $1.8 billion in Indian trust funds.
"This contract will provide better management of resources belonging to individual Indians and tribes," Secretary of the Interior Don Hodel said at a contract signing ceremony in his office. "And the federal government will save almost $3 million over a five-year period in costs of administering trust funds
The Department of the Interior has scored notable successes this summer in its war on drugs. Interior Secretary Don Hodel emphasized that drug enforcement is a top priority in his Department.
The summer-long effort to eliminate illegal drug activity on the Nation's public lands has led to the destruction of more than 166,000 marijuana plants on Interior lands. Almost 400,000 additional plants were eradicated in immediately adjacent areas in cooperative enforcement actions with state, local and other federal agencies.