Sunday, December 11, 2011

BIA Holds Meetings, Red Tape Strangles Claims

     The Bureau of Indian Affairs held meetings in Elko and Fallon to answer why the distribution of the claims had been halted and why final distribution is planned for 2012.  Quality assurance is the answer for delays.  The BIA has posted this Question and Answer sheet on the Western Shoshone Claims website.
     There was a total of 5,304 approved applications, with 674 appeals.  Five appeals have been approved, 164 appeals denied, and 501 appeals pending.
     The BIA will make a request to BIA Central Office for additional staffing to meet the June 2012 target. Currently, there are 7 specialized individuals that conduct application reviews, 3 data entry and 2 administrative support personnel on location.
     "The BIA will strive to meet the June target date," the BIA states through its website.  "In the event there are appeals of the BIA’s eligibility decisions to the Federal courts, and distribution of the award is deferred until all final appeals are exhausted, the delay in distribution could be significant."

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