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25 U.S. Code § 5366 - Provisions relating to the Secretary

(a) Trust evaluations

A funding agreement shall include a provision to monitor the performance of trust functions by the Indian Tribe through the annual trust evaluation.

(b) Reassumption
(1) In generalA compact or funding agreement shall include provisions for the Secretary to reassume a program and associated funding if there is a specific finding relating to that program of—
(A) imminent jeopardy to a trust asset, a natural resource, or public health and safety that—
is caused by an act or omission of the Indian Tribe; and
arises out of a failure to carry out the compact or funding agreement; or
gross mismanagement with respect to funds transferred to an Indian Tribe under a compact or funding agreement, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Inspector General, as appropriate.
(2) ProhibitionThe Secretary shall not reassume operation of a program, in whole or part, unless—
the Secretary first provides written notice and a hearing on the record to the Indian Tribe; and
the Indian Tribe does not take corrective action to remedy the mismanagement of the funds or programs, or the imminent jeopardy to a trust asset, natural resource, or public health and safety.
(3) Exception
(A) In generalNotwithstanding paragraph (2), the Secretary may, on written notice to the Indian Tribe, immediately reassume operation of a program if—
the Secretary makes a finding of imminent and substantial jeopardy and irreparable harm to a trust asset, a natural resource, or the public health and safety caused by an act or omission of the Indian Tribe; and
the imminent and substantial jeopardy and irreparable harm to the trust asset, natural resource, or public health and safety arises out of a failure by the Indian Tribe to carry out the terms of an applicable compact or funding agreement.
(B) Reassumption

If the Secretary reassumes operation of a program under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall provide the Indian Tribe with a hearing on the record not later than 10 days after the date of reassumption.

(c) Inability to agree on compact or funding agreement
(1) Final offer

If the Secretary and a participating Indian Tribe are unable to agree, in whole or in part, on the terms of a compact or funding agreement (including funding levels), the Indian Tribe may submit a final offer to the Secretary.

(2) Determination

Not more than 60 days after the date of receipt of a final offer by one or more of the officials designated pursuant to paragraph (4), the Secretary shall review and make a determination with respect to the final offer, except that the 60-day period may be extended for up to 30 days for circumstances beyond the control of the Secretary, upon written request by the Secretary to the Indian tribe.

(3) Extensions

The deadline described in paragraph (2) may be extended for any length of time, as agreed upon by both the Indian Tribe and the Secretary.

(4) Designated officials
(A) In general

The Secretary shall designate one or more appropriate officials in the Department to receive a copy of the final offer described in paragraph (1).

(B) No designation

If no official is designated, the Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs shall be the designated official.

(5) No timely determination

If the Secretary fails to make a determination with respect to a final offer within the period specified in paragraph (2), including any extension agreed to under paragraph (3), the Secretary shall be deemed to have agreed to the offer, except that with respect to any compact or funding agreement provision concerning a program described under section 5363(c) of this title, the Secretary shall be deemed to have rejected the offer with respect to such provision and the terms of clauses (ii) through (iv) of paragraphs [1] (6)(A) shall apply.

(6) Rejection of final offer
(A) In generalIf the Secretary rejects a final offer (or one or more provisions or funding levels in a final offer), the Secretary shall—
(i) provide timely written notification to the Indian Tribe that contains a specific finding that clearly demonstrates, or that is supported by a controlling legal authority, that—
the amount of funds proposed in the final offer exceeds the applicable funding level as determined under section 5325(a)(1) of this title;
the program that is the subject of the final offer is an inherent Federal function or is subject to the discretion of the Secretary under section 5363(c) of this title;
the Indian Tribe cannot carry out the program in a manner that would not result in significant danger or risk to the public health or safety, to natural resources, or to trust resources;
the Indian Tribe is not eligible to participate in self-governance under section 5362(c) of this title;
the funding agreement would violate a Federal statute or regulation; or
with respect to a program or portion of a program included in a final offer pursuant to section 5363(b)(2) of this title, the program or the portion of the program is not otherwise available to Indian Tribes or Indians under section 5321(a)(1)(E) of this title;
provide technical assistance to overcome the objections stated in the notification required by clause (i);
provide the Indian Tribe with a hearing on the record with the right to engage in full discovery relevant to any issue raised in the matter, and the opportunity for appeal on the objections raised, except that the Indian Tribe may, in lieu of filing such appeal, directly proceed to initiate an action in a United States district court under section 5331(a) of this title; and
provide the Indian Tribe the option of entering into the severable portions of a final proposed compact or funding agreement (including a lesser funding amount, if any), that the Secretary did not reject, subject to any additional alterations necessary to conform the compact or funding agreement to the severed provisions.
(B) Effect of exercising certain optionIf an Indian Tribe exercises the option specified in subparagraph (A)(iv)—
the Indian Tribe shall retain the right to appeal the rejection by the Secretary under this section; and
clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall apply only to the portion of the proposed final compact or funding agreement that was rejected by the Secretary.
(d) Burden of proofIn any administrative action, hearing, appeal, or civil action brought under this section, the Secretary shall have the burden of proof—
of demonstrating, by a preponderance of the evidence, the validity of the grounds for a reassumption under subsection (b); and
of clearly demonstrating the validity of the grounds for rejecting a final offer made under subsection (c).
(e) Good faith
(1) In general

In the negotiation of compacts and funding agreements, the Secretary shall at all times negotiate in good faith to maximize implementation of the self-governance policy.

(2) Policy

The Secretary shall carry out this subchapter in a manner that maximizes the policy of Tribal self-governance.

(f) Savings
(1) In general

To the extent that programs carried out for the benefit of Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations under this subchapter reduce the administrative or other responsibilities of the Secretary with respect to the operation of Indian programs and result in savings that have not otherwise been included in the amount of Tribal shares and other funds determined under section 5368(c) of this title, except for funding agreements entered into for programs under section 5363(c) of this title, the Secretary shall make such savings available to the Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations for the provision of additional services to program beneficiaries in a manner equitable to directly served, contracted, and compacted programs.

(2) Discretionary programs of special significance

For any savings generated as a result of the assumption of a program by an Indian Tribe under section 5363(c) of this title, such savings shall be made available to that Indian Tribe.

(g) Trust responsibility

The Secretary may not waive, modify, or diminish in any way the trust responsibility of the United States with respect to Indian Tribes and individual Indians that exists under treaties, Executive orders, other laws, or court decisions.

(h) Decision makerA decision that constitutes final agency action and relates to an appeal within the Department conducted under subsection (c)(6)(A)(iii) may be made by—
an official of the Department who holds a position at a higher organizational level within the Department than the level of the departmental agency in which the decision that is the subject of the appeal was made; or
an administrative law judge.
(i) Rules of construction

Subject to section 101(a) of the PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act, each provision of this subchapter and each provision of a compact or funding agreement shall be liberally construed for the benefit of the Indian Tribe participating in self-governance, and any ambiguity shall be resolved in favor of the Indian Tribe.

[1]  So in original. Probably should be “paragraph”.
References in Text

Section 101(a) of the PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act, referred to in subsec. (i), is section 101(a) of Pub. L. 116–180, which is set out as a note under section 5361 of this title.

Editorial Notes
Prior Provisions

A prior section 5366, Pub. L. 93–638, title IV, § 406, as added Pub. L. 103–413, title II, § 204, Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4277; amended Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(e) [title I, § 133], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–231, 2681–264, set out disclaimers regarding construction of provisions of this chapter and subchapter. Such ection was formerly classified to section 458ff of this title prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as section 5366.