Inspector General Report
From: Department of Interior
Date: January 10, 2012
Re: Inspector General follows up on management of funding to Indian schools
Background: Interior Department officials recently checked to see if five recommendations that the agency’s Inspector General made in April 2010 had been implemented. The recommendations involved the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) management of Recovery funded programs for improving/repairing American Indian schools. BIA should:
- Obtain refunds of any advance payments to programs that later fail to adhere to specified terms.
- Ensure building repairs and improvements are funded enough to be fully completed and functional.
- Clarify the roles and responsibilities of those in charge of accountability and transparency of Recovery funds.
- Direct all tribes and contractors to post information about whistleblower protection on the project site.
- Consider using a secure, web-based project management system.
Findings: BIA had implemented all but the last recommendation, which BIA said would not be compatible with its firewall system; Interior officials concurred.
On January 17, a newly built Indian Health Service (IHS) hospital began taking patients from the 9,300 Native Americans residing in the counties of Dewey, Haakon, Meade, Potter, Sully, and Ziebach in South Dakota.
The Cheyenne River Health Center, located in the north-central part of the state, was constructed using $84.5 million in Recovery funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The 138,000-square-foot facility replaces the former Eagle Butte IHS Hospital, which had become too small to serve the needs of the community.
IHS describes the new hospital as “a modern, technologically advanced facility with enough space and staff to provide an expanded level of health care services specifically designed to meet the needs of the Cheyenne River population.”
The Recovery Act provided a total $500 million through HHS/IHS for:
- Construction of priority health care facilities
- Maintenance and improvement of buildings
- Undertaking water and wastewater sanitation projects
- Purchase of critical medical equipment and health information technology
The newly constructed Cheyenne River Health Center in South Dakota, is a 138,542 square foot facility that will provide health services for 9,300 American Indians. The hospital was built with $84.5 million from the Recovery Act, broke ground in May 2008 and is set to open in December. The facility replaces the former Eagle Butte Indian Health Services (IHS) Hospital, which was unable to meet the needs of the community. New staff quarters for health care providers are also being built as part of this project.
The Recovery Act has provided $500 million through the IHS for the construction of priority health care facilities, building maintenance and improvement, water and wastewater sanitation projects, the purchase of medical equipment and health information technology. IHS projects include, the replacement of the Eagle Butte Health Center and also the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome, Alaska. The new facility in Nome will serve 10,000 Alaska Native spread across 44,000 miles. Together the projects have been funded with $227 million in Recovery Act funds.
You can learn more about this project by visiting the HHS website.
View a description of quarterly activities related to the construction of the Cheyenne River Health Center, or see the recipient summary for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.