Audit of Cooperative Agreement Between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Link: Memorandum

The audit identified a total of $1,440,748 in questioned costs, as well as the need for increased oversight by USBR. OIG offers six recommendations to help USBR resolve the questioned costs and improve its operations with LBST. USBR agreed with all six recommendations and will begin negotiations with LBST to recoup the unallowable costs.

OIG Audit Questions More than $1.4M in Expenditures by Lower Brule Sioux Tribe under Bureau of Reclamation Contract

Here is the audit page, and the audit itself.

From the description:

We audited the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s (LBST) interim incurred costs on Cooperative Agreement No. R95AV60020 with the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR). The agreement was issued by USBR for operation, maintenance, and administrative activities associated with the Lower Brule Rural Water System, which serves tribal and nontribal customers in southwestern South Dakota.
 
Our audit identified a total of $1,440,748 in questioned costs, as well as the need for increased oversight by USBR. We offer six recommendations to help USBR resolve the questioned costs and improve its operations with LBST. USBR agreed with all six recommendations and will begin negotiations with LBST to recoup the unallowable costs.
The audit was conduction after Human Rights Watch published a report on corruption at Lower Brule.

Brutal, Tragic Case Out of Yakama: Government Limits Liability for Negligent Death of Teenage JobsCorps Worker

Here are the materials in Challinor v. United States (E.D. Wash.), where the court concludes:

In summary, because the Estate’s FTCA negligence claims colorably fall within FECA’s scope, the Court must dismiss this lawsuit for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. See Moe, 326 F.3d at 1068 (requiring dismissal of a claim that is “colorably within” FECA’s scope). Although the United States may face liability under the FTCA if an injury occurs to a non-Job-Corps participant at YFP because that individual may not be a federal employee, the Court recognizes this question is not before it at this time. The Court is hopeful that the BIA and YFP take the appropriate necessary steps to ensure that all workers, especially those young Job Corps students with so much life ahead, are not subjected to such serious safety violations. See Marly’s Bear Med. v. United States, 241 F.3d 1208, 1216-17 (9th Cir. 2000) (finding that fatal injuries to anon-federal employee during a logging operation conducted pursuant to a BIA contract were recoverable under the FTCA because the BIA’s responsibility to ensure that safety precautions were implemented was not a discretionary function). The Court is also hopeful that Congress will soon address the shameful inadequacy of FECA’s $10,000.00 death gratuity payment. While the law required this decision, the Court sympathizes with Mr. Challinor’s parents for the loss of their son.

DCT Order Granting Government’s Motion

Government Motion to Dismiss

Challinor Opposition

Government Reply Brief

Quechan v. Dept. of Interior (D. Ariz.) — Arizona Clean Fuels Refinery

From Indianz [see the briefs and opinion below the fold]:

A federal judge has dismissed the Quechan Nation’s lawsuit over a proposed oil refinery in Arizona.

The tribe said the Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Interior Department, failed to address the environmental impact of a land transfer that was authorized by an act of Congress. The judge dismissed the claim as “frivolous.” Arizona Clean Fuels bought the land at issue in the transfer for an oil refinery. But the company has decided to use a different site after the tribe raised questions about the original site.

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