New Federal Tribal Consulation Policy

Available here.

From the press release:

The consultation policy creates a framework for synchronizing Interior’s consultation practices with its bureaus and offices by providing an approach that applies in all circumstances where statutory or administrative opportunities exist to consult with the tribes – including any regulation, rulemaking, policy, guidance, legislative proposal, grant funding formula change or operational activity that may have a substantial and direct effect on a tribe. Interior bureaus and offices, which are required to designate one or more Tribal Liaison Officers, must examine and change their consultation policies within 180 days to ensure they are consistent with the new departmental policy.
Under the policy, Interior officials will identify appropriate tribal consulting parties early in the planning process, provide the tribes a meaningful opportunity to participate in the consultation process, and participate in a manner that demonstrates a commitment and ensures continuity.
To increase accountability, bureaus and office heads will implement training, performance standards and comprehensive annual reporting to the Secretary, through his designated Tribal Governance Officer, on the scope, cost and effectiveness of their consultation efforts.
Based on information received from the bureaus and offices, the Secretary will provide an annual report to the tribes on the Tribal Consultation Policy. In consultation with the tribes, the Secretary will also establish a joint Federal-Tribal Team to make recommendations on implementing and ensuring continued improvement of the policy.

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