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Reply #26: Griles quickly inserted himself into Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust = 2001 [View All]

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-30-07 03:03 PM
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26. Griles quickly inserted himself into Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust = 2001
Interior's number two takes lead on trust reform
NOV. 5, 2001
http://www.indianz.com/News/show.asp?ID=pol01/1152001-1


With a showdown looming in federal court, the Department of Interior is in a rushed but concerted effort to prove to a skeptical judge that the government is in charge of trust reform. .... handling of the assets of an estimated 300,000 American Indians...

...Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles has quickly inserted himself into the debacle over the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust since being sworn in to his post in July. As number two in command at the Interior, Griles has taken the lead to reform -- for lack of a better term -- trust reform.

By at least one public and embarrassing incident, the effort hasn't been a bursting success. A mass mailing Griles sent to 11,000 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Office of Special Trustee (OST) employees ... caused a stir over anthrax in the Southwest as employees were sent home and told to burn a court order.

... "He has taken the lead in a very determined fashion," said one official in close contact with Griles.

A key component of Griles' effort is an independent assessment of the government's High Level Implementation Plan (HLIP) -- the blueprint to trust reform -- by EDS Corporation, a management consulting firm. Last Wednesday, top officials received an oral briefing from EDS, which is making a dozen or so specific recommendations covering everything from a $40 million software system widely seen as a failure to the cleanup of records dating back to 1887, when the IIM trust was initiated...

... not much has changed since Griles was last in a position of leadership. Despite numerous investigations, acts of Congress, secretarial orders and court decisions, the government still can't provide any beneficiary with an accounting of his or her funds. ...

The Interior, of course, faces serious credibility problems that leave little room for failure. Whatever response the Bush administration has will depend on something that has so far proven difficult for the government to show: commitment.
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