Feasibility Study for the Evaluation of DHHS Programs That Are or May Be Operated Under Tribal Self-Governance. Availability, Accessibility, and Quality of Data on History of Self-Governance and Program Management

03/03/2004

When meeting with Tribal members at all six sites these issues were discussed:

  • Individuals who have been involved in Self-Governance/Tribal management of Federal programs since these programs were first considered;
  • Written documentation and reports that chronicle the initial steps that were taken when the Tribe first considered Self-Governance/management of Federal programs; and
  • Individuals who have knowledge and information on the goals/objectives of the Tribe for the program, the extent to which those goals/objectives have been met, and how those goals/objectives have changed over time.[13]

At all six sites, knowledgeable individuals are available and would be willing to serve as sources of information about the process through which Tribes come to Self-Governance or management of Federal programs. All of the sites indicated that there are individuals in the Tribe who have been involved in Self-Governance/Tribal management of Federal programs since these programs were first considered.  They provided names of these individuals and indicated that they believed that these individuals would be willing to be interviewed if an evaluation were conducted.

All of the Tribes had individuals who were present when Self-Governance and management decisions were being made and would have knowledge and information on the goals/objectives of the Tribe for the program, the extent to which those goals/objectives have been met, and how those goals/objectives have changed over time.

We also found that written documentation prepared for other purposes can serve as a source of information about the steps each Tribe took toward Self-Governance or management of Federal programs.  Specifically, most of the Tribes visited indicated that they had had planning grants or other funding for preparing for Self-Governance or management of programs (especially health) that would provide written documentation of the issues that were considered before the application for management of the program and the key factors that were considered.  Moreover, all Tribes indicated that there were persons available who could describe the structure and operations of Tribal government prior to Tribal Self-Governance/management of Federal programs and the changes that have occurred over time.  In fact, most program-level staff interviewed indicated that they could provide reports and documentation reaching back to the beginning of Tribal management of that program.