October 17, 2000
H.R. 4148 - Tribal Contract Support Cost Technical
Although the Administration supports the broad goals and philosophy promoted by
H.R. 4148 to continue strengthening tribal sovereignty and the principles of
Indian self-determination, the Administration cannot support the bill or the
manager's amendment to be offered in the nature of a substitute because of the
significant concerns discussed below.
Amendments of 2000 Act
(Rep. Young (R) AK and Rep. Hayworth (R) AZ)
H.R. 4148 appears to amend the Indian Self-Determination and Education
Assistance Act (ISDEAA) to provide that an Indian tribe or tribal organization
administering a contract or compact shall be entitled to recover all indirect
contract costs for their programs, including pre-award, start-up, and other
costs that are not currently eligible for Federal reimbursement. Because H.R.
4148 lacks clarity, is overly broad, and appears to go beyond the statutory
framework of the ISDEAA, this bill could create ambiguity that leads to
unnecessary litigation regarding the obligation of Federal agencies to pay these
indirect costs. As well, H.R. 4148 could create budgetary and programmatic
disruptions by requiring many Federal agencies to divert funds from current
program services to pay for these tribal administrative costs.
The Administration is also concerned that H.R. 4148 would shift program
responsibility for the review of contract costs from one office at the Indian
Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services) to another. The
Administration opposes this type of micromanagement and believes that the
Executive Branch should be afforded the appropriate authority to manage its
For these reasons, the Administration cannot support H.R. 4148 but will continue
to work with the Congress to address its concerns.