Bureau of Indian Affairs Commonly Blows Money on Illegal Leases, Says Inspector General

OfficeDanny ChooThe Bureau of Indian Affairs, it seems, has trouble following the rules when leasing, to the extent that it blows tens of millions of dollars on property that it doesn't need, or that was acquired without proper authorization. The problem is so widespread that the Department of the Interior found problems with every single lease examined in a recent Inspector General's report. That report was only a sample of the BIA's activity, so the problem just may be a bit more widespread.

The BIA's taste for blowing rental agreements was first noted by the General Services Administration, which is sort of the federal goverment's office manager. The GSA referred the problem to the Department of the Interior's Office of the Inspector General, with much astonishment to ensue.

From the Inspector General:

OIG sampled 14 BIA leases identified in the GSA report and found issues with all of them. These issues resulted from noncompliance with GSA guidelines to insufficient BIA guidance and inadequate training. We found leases extended without GSA approval, leases exceeding GSA square footage limits, leases established by individuals without qualifications to do so, and contracting officers who did not follow guidelines. BIA’s inability to accurately report all lease data back to GSA also made it impossible for GSA to analyze post-lease performance data for the BIA leases we reviewed. BIA expended more than $32 million for leases that exceeded GSA space limits and leasing requirements.

Yes, $32 million is barely walking-around money for a government that turns wealth into ashes in billion-dollar lots. But every lease the OIG scrutinized in its sample had somehow been screwed up.

Two of the problematic properties were rented by a BIA superintendent in Montana who had no authority to sign contracts and who never reported the deal to the BIA's central office, so the Bureau had no idea these facilities existed, even as it paid for them. In other cases, the BIA spent well beyond what it was allowed without specific congressional authorization.

In slap-on-the-wrist fashion, the Inspector General recommended the BIA:

  1. Develop and implement policies and procedures that ensure compliance with GSA guidance.
  2. Develop a database accurately reflecting the status of leases in BIAs inventory and,
  3. Ensure BIA contracting officers receive appropriate training in lease administration and management.

That's right, almost two centures after its founding, the Bureau of Indian Affars still hasn't got a handle on acquiring property the right way. Then again, it doesn't just take it any more; it overpays instead. Which is something of an improvement.

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  • Rich||

    BIA’s inability to accurately report all lease data back to GSA also made it impossible for GSA to analyze post-lease performance data

    "Inability"? You're FIRED! Now learn some ability.

    the Department of the Interior found problems with every single lease examined

    Sheesh, just give the Native Americans back their land already!

  • Snark Plissken||

    Man, I used to work for BIA. The levels of incompetence and waste are truly stunning to behold.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that could be said for every single government entity.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I know, but I think BIA excels even among Fed agencies.

  • Almanian!||

    We're number one! We're number one!!

  • GILMORE||

    Everyone who's ever been in an 'agency' probably feels that way =

    'this has got to be the worst of it'

    I'm guessing the level and sophistication of Grade-A+ *Incompetard* is limited only by budget - and by that guideline, we would have to assume the apex of bureaucratic monkey-football clusterfuckery is, naturally, the pentagon.

    Because who else can blow a trillion bucks and still pretend the problem was *not enough funding*?

  • UnCivilServant||

    I thought the BIA acquired space through deceptive treaties. Now they're paying for it? Sheesh, close the agency, you're a shadow of your former jackboot.

  • Drake||

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs still exists? I call racism! Let's do the right thing - defund and dissolve it.

  • Almanian!||

    seconded

  • Nazdrakke||

    Give me that old time Indian land corruption.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You're not expecting the BIA to try and get its lease money back after handing it over, are you? What do you think they are...

  • UnCivilServant||

    Bureaucrats.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Renegers?

  • Almanian!||

    Now they're black - again? RAAAAAAACIST!

  • GILMORE||

    groan.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I fully expect we'll try to give select lands back to the natives. And I fully expect the natives won't take Detroit or Southeast Cook County unless we pay them.

  • ||

    Dat alt text.

  • The Last American Hero||

    The BIA needs to go away, as does the 2 tier treatment of Native Americans. Either they are separate nations and need to be cut off the govt teat or they are ethnic groups living in the US and need to be treated like everyone else.

  • Robert||

    What's that green cylinder in the photo?

  • GILMORE||

    Smallpox-Blanket Storage

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Two of the problematic properties were rented by a BIA superintendent in Montana who had no authority to sign contracts and who never reported the deal to the BIA's central office, so the Bureau had no idea these facilities existed, even as it paid for them.

    In fairness, the superintendent only paid $24 in beads for the lease.

  • GILMORE||

    SOLUTIONS ARE AT HAND, PEOPLE

    They Will =
    "
    1.Develop and implement NEW policies and procedures that ensure compliance with GSA guidance OLDER policies and procedures"

    When things don't work the way you wrote them down on paper? CLEARLY WE NEED MORE PAPER RULES TO CLARIFY THE OTHER PAPER RULES. What we surely DONT need are these people claiming "market forces" need to be introduced. Do people not realize that with 'markets', there is no CONTROL like we have here? Do you not see how there might be *corruption* if we do not strictly monitor the monitors of the guideines which govern the procedures? Also, we need more money.

  • GILMORE||

  • GILMORE||

    No, Not "arapahoe"

  • GILMORE||

    Arapahoe would be something more like this =

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UODX_pYpVxk

  • The DerpRider||

    Bret Maverick, Indian Affairs...

  • GILMORE||

    I think it would be an amusing piece of data to see how many people @ hardcore prog-liberal sites have actually 'worked in government', compared to H&R...

    ...because it seems to me that there's like a 1-in-10 occurrence of libertoids who've spent some time working in the bowels of the Big Happy Machine called the public sector, and the reason they're here is because they Have Seen The Enemy Firsthand.

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