WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Today, Chief of Staff Patrick J. Sandoval gathered at the Office of the President and Vice President with federally-funded Executive Branch programs to continue review of Public Law 93-638, or Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, contracts and processes.
The work is being carried out as part of Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren’s focus on resolving outstanding federal funding issues internal to the Nation.
The “638 contract” process involves federal funding that is administered by federal agencies, such as the Department of the Interior, on behalf of the U.S. Government. Under the Act, the Nation has greater control of federal funds appropriated by Congress for tribal services and administration.
Staff from the Nation’s federally-funded programs and key partners took part in the meeting.
The programs included the Department of Justice, Office of the Controller, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Division of Transportation, Division of Natural Resources, Division of Human Resources, Division of Public Safety, Department of Health, Fiscal Recovery Fund Office, Heritage and Historic Preservation Department, Department of Corrections, Office of Vital Records and Identification, Department of Water Resources, Community Housing and Infrastructure Department, Criminal Investigation Department, General Land Development Department, the Navajo Police Department and others.
The group identified several issues relating to federal contracts both internally and externally.
Relating to issues with full utilization of federal funds, the group raised points relating to impacts to the Nation’s credit-worthiness and grant-worthiness, unspent grant balances, communication of contract statuses, indirect cost rates, fiscal and calendar year accounting, reporting, program budgets and other topics.
Federal awarding delays and late notification to the Nation’s programs often lead to further conflicts with internal policies and processes.
Sandoval said the President’s Office’s next steps will involve following-up with each program on their individual status reports for each of their federal contracts. Future follow-up will also include identification of specific policy action items and items for federal advocacy.