Administrative policies often directly effect Self-Governance Tribes and the programs they choose to manage. Many of the policy priorities identified in the National Tribal Self-Governance 2015-2017 Strategic Plan & Priorities are critical to efficiently manage programs and leverage external opportunities to improve Tribal programs.
There are many competing policy goals for Self-Governance Tribes, however those listed below have momentum or support outside of Self-Governance Tribes. To see the full list of policy priorities, download the full version of the National Tribal Self-Governance 2015-2017 Strategic Plan & Priorities.
Revise and streamline each agency’s Contract Support Costs Policy.
After years of advocacy, CSC funding has changed monumentally in the last twelve months. As a result of full funding and Presidential support for mandatory funding, each agency must identify, assess, and implement modifications to each agency’s CSC policy that reflects recent legislative and funding changes. Each agency has a Tribal-Federal Workgroup that made several recommendations to update the CSC policy. Self-Governance Tribes urge each agency to review those recommendations begin updating the policy as quickly as possible.
Expand Tribal consultation on allocation and formula distribution of Bureau of Indian Affairs.
In 2012, Self-Governance Tribes published the Program Formulas Matrix Report, which identifies areas where the formulas and methodologies currently used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for distribution can be improved and provide recommendations for eleven programs. Action on these recommendations has stalled in the last several years. However, as DOI seeks to move funding to one-time grants, the Formula Matrix Report recommendations are increasingly important. Continued consultation and discussion with BIA officials and Tribes is needed to implement changes recommended in the report.
Foster greater transparency announcing new DOI funding opportunities.
Access to program and initiative funding is critical as Tribes work to meet the needs of their citizens locally. As such, Self-Governance Tribes encourage DOI agencies to streamline their grant and funding announcements so that all Tribes have equal opportunity for one-time funding and support.
Include Purchase and Referred Care in all VA-IHS reimbursement agreements.
When the IHS and the Veterans Administration (VA) negotiated the first national agreement, required under the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), the agencies only included reimbursement for direct care provided by IHS facilities. This agreement has become the model for Tribal programs in negotiating with local VA facilities. However, it does not adequately address the specialty care Tribal systems provide eligible veterans. After two years of implementation and changes to the Veterans Administration health care delivery, Self-Governance Tribes believe the time is right to revisit the reimbursement agreement and include specialty and referred care.
Institute a Tribal Advisory Committee for Office of Management and Budget.
Given the role the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) plays in the Tribal funding – from guiding the President’s annual budget request to distributing appropriations to all federal agencies – a Tribal Advisory Committee could prioritize Tribal needs and requests. Other advisory committees have assisted in educating and building momentum within agencies and departments to further Tribal sovereignty and priorities.
Update the IHS Facilities Construction Policy to include broad Tribal input.
The IHS Health Care Facilities Design and Construction Policy does not currently reflect new authorities available under IHCIA, nor does it accurately reflect the tenants of Self-Governance. Additionally, the Facilities Appropriations Advisory Board (FAAB) recently decided to review and possibly update the Policy to reflect new authorities and make recommendations to the prioritization system. Self-Governance Tribal leadership believes the time is ripe to make changes that have broad Tribal support and allow for greater flexibility in construction projects.
Evaluate the Indian-specific provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continue consultation to implement outstanding provisions.
After nearly five years of implementation, an assessment is needed to ensure that Indian-specific provisions of the ACA are working effectively and efficiently. Additionally, some provisions continue to require Tribal consultation and technical fixes that may be successful through negotiated rulemaking process.
Download Supporting White Papers
Policy priorities and goals do not often change, but strategy to implement the priorities change as administrative and legislative changes occur. The White Papers below provide the most up-to-date administrative and legislative actions as well as new strategy ideas. Click the hyperlinks to download and share the White Papers.