Here, titled “Management Challenges Continue to Hinder Efforts to Improve Indian Education.”
Management challenges within the Department of Interior’s Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs (Indian Affairs), such as fragmented administrative structures and frequent turnover in leadership, continue to hamper efforts to improve Indian education. For example, incompatible procedures and lack of clear roles for the Bureau of Indian Education and the Indian Affairs’ Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management (DAS-M), which provides administrative functions to BIE, such as human resources and acquisitions, contribute to delays in schools acquiring needed materials and resources. According to BIE officials, some DAS-M staff are not aware of the necessary procedures and timelines to meet schools’ needs. For instance, delays in contracting have occasionally affected BIE’s ability to provide services for students with disabilities in a timely manner. A study commissioned by Indian Affairs to evaluate the administrative support structure for BIE and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) — also under Indian Affairs — concluded that organizations within Indian Affairs, including DAS-M, BIA, and BIE, do not coordinate effectively an d communication among them is poor. Similarly, preliminary results from GAO’s work suggest that lack of consistent leadership within DAS-M and BIE hinders collaboration between the two offices.