25 U.S.C. § 5321 Self-Determination Contracts

LibraryUnited States Statutes
Edition2023
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-34 (published on www.congress.gov on 12/26/2023), except for [P. L. 118-31]
Year2023
Citation25 U.S.C. § 5321

(a) Request by tribe; authorized programs

(1) The Secretary is directed, upon the request of any Indian tribe by tribal resolution, to enter into a self-determination contract or contracts with a tribal organization to plan, conduct, and administer programs or portions thereof, including construction programs-

(A) provided for in the Act of April 16, 1934 (48 Stat. 596), as amended [ 25 U.S.C. 5342 et seq.];

(B) which the Secretary is authorized to administer for the benefit of Indians under the Act of November 2, 1921 (42 Stat. 208) [ 25 U.S.C. 13 ], and any Act subsequent thereto;

(C) provided by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Act of August 5, 1954 (68 Stat. 674), as amended [ 42 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.];

(D) administered by the Secretary for the benefit of Indians for which appropriations are made to agencies other than the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of the Interior; and

(E) for the benefit of Indians because of their status as Indians without regard to the agency or office of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of the Interior within which it is performed.

The programs, functions, services, or activities that are contracted under this paragraph shall include administrative functions of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Health and Human Services (whichever is applicable) that support the delivery of services to Indians, including those administrative activities supportive of, but not included as part of, the service delivery programs described in this paragraph that are otherwise contractable. The administrative functions referred to in the preceding sentence shall be contractable without regard to the organizational level within the Department that carries out such functions.

(2) If so authorized by an Indian tribe under paragraph (1) of this subsection, a tribal organization may submit a proposal for a self-determination contract, or a proposal to amend or renew a self-determination contract, to the Secretary for review. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4), the Secretary shall, within ninety days after receipt of the proposal, approve the proposal and award the contract unless the Secretary provides written notification to the applicant that contains a specific finding that clearly demonstrates that, or that is supported by a controlling legal authority that-

(A) the service to be rendered to the Indian beneficiaries of the particular program or function to be contracted will not be satisfactory;

(B) adequate protection of trust resources is not assured;

(C) the proposed project or function to be contracted for cannot be properly completed or maintained by the proposed contract;

(D) the amount of funds proposed under the contract is in excess of the applicable funding level for the contract, as determined under section 5325(a) of this title; or

(E) the program, function, service, or activity (or portion thereof) that is the subject of the proposal is beyond the scope of programs, functions, services, or activities covered under paragraph (1) because the proposal includes activities that cannot lawfully be carried out by the contractor.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may extend or otherwise alter the 90-day period specified in the second sentence of this subsection,1 if before the expiration of such period, the Secretary obtains the voluntary and express written consent of the tribe or tribal organization to extend or otherwise alter such period. The contractor shall include in the proposal of the contractor the standards under which the tribal organization will operate the contracted program, service, function, or activity, including in the area of construction, provisions regarding the use of licensed and qualified architects, applicable health and safety standards, adherence to applicable Federal, State, local, or tribal building codes and engineering standards. The standards referred to in the preceding sentence shall ensure structural integrity, accountability of funds, adequate competition for subcontracting under tribal or other applicable law, the commencement, performance, and completion of the contract, adherence to project plans and specifications (including any applicable Federal construction guidelines and manuals), the use of proper materials and workmanship, necessary inspection and testing, and changes, modifications, stop work, and termination of the work when warranted.

(3) Upon the request of a tribal organization that operates two or more mature self-determination contracts, those contracts may be consolidated into one single contract.

(4) The Secretary shall approve any severable portion of a contract proposal that does not support a declination finding described in paragraph (2). If the Secretary determines under such paragraph that a contract proposal-

(A) proposes in part to plan, conduct, or administer a program, function, service, or activity that is beyond the scope of programs covered under paragraph (1), or

(B) proposes a level of funding that is in excess of the applicable level determined under section 5325(a) of this title,

subject to any alteration in the scope of the proposal that the Secretary and the tribal organization agree to, the Secretary shall, as appropriate, approve such portion of the program, function, service, or activity as is authorized under paragraph (1) or approve a level of funding authorized under section 5325(a) of this title. If a tribal organization elects to carry out a severable portion of a contract proposal pursuant to this paragraph, subsection (b) of this section shall only apply to the portion of the contract that is declined by the Secretary pursuant to this subsection.

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