Tribal Self-governance Demonstration Feasibility Study. Programs

03/01/2003

Recommendation 1: Eleven existing HHS programs have been identified as feasible for inclusion in a tribal self-governance demonstration project.

The study requires identification of HHS programs, programs, services, functions, and activities (or portions thereof) that are feasible to include in a tribal self-governance demonstration project. Based on the factors discussed in the study section on methodology, the following programs are identified.

Administration on Aging
Grants for Native Americans

Administration for Children and Families
Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Community Services Block Grant
Child Care and Development Fund
Native Employment Works
Head Start
Child Welfare Services
Promoting Safe and Stable Families
Family Violence Prevention: Grants for Battered Womens Shelters

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Target Capacity Expansion

All of these programs already have statutory authority that provides for grant awards directly to tribes and tribal responsibility for program management. In this sense, the tenet of self-governance relating to tribal assumption of program administration is already realized and implemented under these programs. However, tribes must administer each program separately under current program rules and are not allowed to redesign or consolidate programs to meet tribally-defined needs to the extent contemplated under the other important tenet of self-governance.

Recommendation 2: The Secretary should be authorized to add up to six additional programs during the course of the demonstration project.

While specific programs would be authorized at the outset of the demonstration, tribal needs are not necessarily limited to those programs that are initially included. To allow flexibility and meet additional tribal needs as the demonstration progresses, it is desirable to provide some ability to expand the demonstration beyond the initial programs. Therefore, it is recommended that the Secretary have the authority to place up to six additional programs in the demonstration.

Recommendation 3: Programs targeted for a demonstration project should be specifically designated in authorizing legislation.

Eleven existing programs are recommended for inclusion in a demonstration project. Authorizing legislation should clarify this point. No additional programs are recommended at this time, and stability is important to the ultimate evaluation of a demonstration.

Statutory/Regulatory Changes
Title VI requires that all statutory and non-waivable regulatory changes needed to include recommended programs in a self-governance demonstration project be listed in the report. Such changes, for the eleven existing programs, have been identified and are presented in Appendix E. Specifically, the changes identified in Appendix E are needed to make existing program or administrative statutes and regulations compatible with the demonstration design recommendations outlined in the design section that follows. The need for similar changes may limit the Secretary's ability to add additional programs during the course of a demonstration.