“In 2011, the Department of the Interior's Inspector General (IG), Mary Kendall, testified to Congress about the "gross program inefficiencies at many levels of Indian Affairs and in tribal management of federal funds."31 The IG described, for example, how the BIA funded a fish hatchery at a reservation for 14 years and yet no fish were hatched. Eventually, a BIA official visited the reservation and found that the alleged hatchery was actually a real estate development that the tribes had been funneling taxpayer money into.
In another incident, the BIA spent $9 million for public ferryboat service in Alaska, but the money was redirected to a private tour boat operation.32 And in Montana in 2011, 10 people—including BIA employees—were indicted for a decade-long scheme that embezzled $1.2 million from a tribal lending program operated by the Fort Peck Tribe.33
The IG found that in one BIA region, millions of dollars were wasted on road projects that were never competed. She noted that "internal management controls were so broken down that wage-grade employees were earning over $100,000 a year, with overtime, without explanation."34 On one of the road projects, $2.4 million had been spent, but the IG couldn't find any of the work that was supposed to have been done.”
The BIA and the BIE have approximately 9,000 employees.
The 2014 budget request for the Operation of Indian Programs account is $2.2 billion, an increase of $37.2 million above the 2012 enacted level, excluding a proposed transfer of Contract Support Costs out of OIP to a stand alone account.