A list of commonly asked questions and answers about Self-Governance is listed below. Check back often for new additions to the list.
FAQ Answer: Tribal nations and Consortia of Tribes who have completed a planning phase and report, demonstrated financial stability, and request participation are eligible to participate in Self-Governance. Up to 50 new Tribal governments are selected to negotiate per year.
FAQ Answer: The Tribe’s/Consortium’s point of contact is an OSG Compact Negotiator who acts on the BIA’s behalf. The BIA will notify the Tribe/Consortium of their designated OSG Compact Negotiator who will provide information regarding the program, staffing, and budget information of the programs the Tribe wishes to assume in their AFA. If the program is unavailable for negotiation, the Negotiator will provide a written explanation.
FAQ Answer: Yes, non-BIA agencies can enter into agreements with Tribes. Tribes can assume non-BIA programs through mandatory inclusion and discretionary inclusion.
Mandatory Inclusion applies to programs that are for the benefit of “Indians because of their status as Indians” and must be included in agreements upon request from Tribes. For more information on Mandatory Inclusion see 25 CFR § 1000.123-.124.
Discretionary Inclusion applies to programs that are not specifically targeted to Tribes, but still hold some “special geographic, historical, or cultural significance” to the contracting Tribe. However, these programs are included at the discretion of Federal officials. See 25 CFR § 1000.126 for information on Discretionary Inclusion.
FAQ Answer: To be eligible, a Tribal government must (1) successfully complete a planning phase, (2) submit a Tribal resolution or other official action by the governing body of the Tribal nation indicating desire to administer programs under a Self-Governance compact, and (3) demonstrate financial stability and financial management capability by providing evidence that the Tribe has had no uncorrected significant and material audit exceptions in the required annual audit of the Tribe’s Self-Determination Contracts or Self-Governance Funding Agreements with any Federal agency for the prior three years.
FAQ Answer: Yes. The OTSG offers a limited number of competitive Planning Cooperative Agreements to help with the costs associated with the mandatory planning phase. The Planning Cooperative Agreements are not required for Self-Governance planning. A Tribe may use its own resources to perform planning activities as long as those activities are conducted to the satisfaction of the Tribe. Tribes that receive Planning Cooperative Agreements are not obligated to participate in Title V and may choose to delay or decline participation in the TSGP based on its planning activities.
FAQ Answer: The OTSG administers the Planning Cooperative Agreement. Announcements are made three ways: (1) through a Federal Register Notice, (2) via Grants.gov , and (3) posted to the OTSG website. The announcements contain information on the number of agreements available, how to apply, deadlines, eligibility requirements,and scoring criteria.
FAQ Answer: Yes. The OTSG offers a limited number of competitive Negotiation Cooperative Agreements to assist with the costs of the negotiation process. Negotiation Cooperative Agreements are not required for Tribal Self-Governance negotiations. A Tribe may use its own resources to develop and negotiate its Compact and Funding Agreement. Tribes that receive Negotiation Cooperative Agreements are not obligated to participate in Title V.
FAQ Answer: No. It has never been the intent of the Tribal Self-Governance initiative to terminate or reduce the Federal trust responsibility to Indian Tribes and Indian people. The ISDEAA clearly states: “The Secretary is prohibited from waiving, modifying, or diminishing in any way the trust responsibility of the United States with respect to Indian tribes and individual Indians that exists under treaties, Executive orders, other laws, or court decisions.” 25 U.S.C. § 458aaa-6(g)
FAQ Answer: The Compact sets forth the general terms of the nation-to-nation relationship between the Tribe or Tribal Organization and the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, or the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. Unlike the Title I Model Contract, there is no model Self-Governance Compact.
FAQ Answer: The Funding Agreement is an annual or multi-year agreement that generally identifies the PSFAs to be assumed by the Tribe and describes the financial terms of the agreement.
Currently, under Self-Governance, Tribal governments can operate select programs within the Department of Interior (DOI), Indian Health Service (IHS), and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Expanding the programs Tribal governments can operate under Self-Governance is a top legislative and administrative priority for participating Self-Governance Tribes, as they know how successful Self-Governance can be in streamlining and creating efficiencies between programs.