1990- DOI Solicitors Opinion: Request for Opinion on Certain Aspects of Self Governance Contracts under Pub. L. 100-472

“What is necessary to determine that a tribe has successfully completed a Self-Governance Planning Grant under§ 302(a) (1) of Title III?

Successful Completion of a Self-Governance Grant.

Section 302(a) (l) of Title III provides, a tribe that successfully completes a Self-Governance Planning Grant, authorized by Conference Report 100-498 to accompany H.R. 395, shall be selected to participate in the demonstration project.
The term “successfully completes” is not defined or explained in the Act or the legislative history. There is no indication in the Act or the legislative history of tribal reports or other planning grant products or deliverables required of tribes, other than a provision in Conference Report 100-98: “Each of the tribes shall document obstacles and proposed remedies identified in its planning process, to be consolidated into a comprehensive report to be submitted to the Appropriation Committees by September 1, 1988.” The Assistant Secretary — Indian Affairs
submitted the report to Congress on December 15, 1988, and indicated that the required progress reports had been received from all ten tribes with planning grants (which would include the five tribes currently applying for self-governance contracts). The BIA report contains no indication that any tribal progress report was deficient. The most obvious place to look for project completion requirements is in the grant instruments, with accompanying documents, which accomplished the planning grant awards. In discussing the awards with Area Offices, it appears there were two types of products or reports required in the grant documents
— programmatic reports or final planning deliverables and financial reports on the status of funds or similar reports to satisfy BIA financial management requirements. Area staff informed us that the grants were negotiated and signed in Washington, and the documents differed considerably in content. All documents were sent to BIA Area Offices, and we are having copies returned to us. At this stage, awaiting the opportunity to review any special requirements in specific grant documents, our view is that tribal compliance with the programmatic and financial reporting or deliverable requirements in planning grant documents will constitute “successful completion” of the grants.”