Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published Report GAO-23-105473, “Lessons Learned Could Improve Future Distribution of Federal Emergency Relief to Tribal Recipients.” A provision of the CARES Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-136) required GAO to conduct monitoring and oversight related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. GAO selected a sample of five federal agencies that administered 12 programs involving a range of funding amounts, eligibility requirements, and methods for providing assistance to Tribal recipients of COVID-19 funds. Tribal recipients included Tribal Nations, Tribal citizens, and Tribal organizations.
GAO identified lessons learned from the selected agencies’ administration of COVID-19 relief funding that could improve future federal relief for Tribal recipients. For example, GAO determined that using existing mechanisms, such as contracts and compacts, can enable agencies to distribute funds and mitigate administrative burden for agencies and Tribal recipients more quickly. Based on GAO’s analysis, it recommended that Congress should consider enabling agencies to use existing mechanisms and structures, such as Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance (ISDEAA) contract and compacts, to distribute emergency relief to Tribal recipients. During this analysis, GAO reviewed federal agency documents and interviewed agency officials, Tribal recipients, and representatives of Tribal organizations.
To view GAO’s Full Report, analysis, and findings, please click here.
For more information, please contact Brian Howard, USET SPF Senior Policy Analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org.