WASHINGTON - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced the appointment of seven members to an independent panel charged with reviewing mineral revenue collection practices on federal and Indian land.
The Royalty Policy Committee made the appointments late yesterday to its Subcommittee on Royalty Management. This special Subcommittee was created in November at the request of the Department of the Interior.
The seven members include co-chairs former U.S. Senator and Nebraska Governor Bob Kerrey and former U.S. Senator Jake Garn, of Utah, vice-chair David Deal, and members Cynthia Lummis, Perry Shirley, Robert Wenzel and Mario Reyes.
“These individuals have each served with distinction in their fields and bring to this review a valuable level of outside expertise and objectivity,” Kempthorne said. “We are grateful to them for agreeing to help us improve our programs and ensure that Americans are receiving a fair and appropriate return from federal oil and gas lease programs. I was privileged to work with both of the co-chairs in the U.S. Senate and know firsthand that they have the highest integrity.”
Specifically, the prospective role of the subcommittee will be to review:
- the extent to which existing procedures and processes for reporting and accounting for federal and Indian mineral revenues are sufficient to ensure Minerals Management Service (MMS) receives the correct amount;
- the audit, compliance and enforcement procedures and processes of the MMS are adequate to ensure mineral companies are complying with existing statutes, lease terms, and regulations as they pertain to payment of royalties;
- the operations of the Royalty in Kind Program to ensure the program results in net benefits to the federal government.
After reviewing practices of the Minerals Revenue Management Program within the MMS, the subcommittee will prepare a report of their findings and recommendations to be presented to the full Royalty Policy Committee and then to Secretary Kempthorne.
“I have asked this subcommittee to scrutinize our practices and to tell us how we can improve not only our effectiveness but our transparency as well,” C. Stephen Allred, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management said. "We are thrilled that Senator Kerrey and Senator Garn will serve as co-chairs, and we are pleased that David Deal will serve as the vice-chair of the subcommittee. He has already been instrumental in preparing material for the subcommittee."
The biographies of the newly appointed members of the Subcommittee on Royalty Management follow:
Senator Bob Kerrey (Co-Chair)
Bob Kerrey is the president of The New School, a university in New York City. For twelve years, from 1989 to 2001, he represented the State of Nebraska in the United States Senate. Prior to that, he served as Nebraska’s governor for four years.
Senator Kerrey believes that we should make government “of, by and for the people” a priority. To that end, he led the effort to reform the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 1998 and worked with Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton to balance the Federal budget. More recently, he served as a member of the 9-11 Commission.
Senator Jake Garn (Co-Chair)
Jake Garn served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. He is a retired Brigadier General in the Utah Air National Guard. He is a former insurance executive and served as Mayor of Salt Lake City prior to his election to the United States Senate in 1974, where he served for 18 years. He served six years as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. He was a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. In November, 1984, Senator Garn was invited by NASA to fly as a payload specialist on Flight 51-D of the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Senator Garn currently works as a self-employed consultant. He serves on the Boards of the National Air & Space Museum (Washington, DC), and United Space Alliance (Houston). He also is involved with numerous local private/public sector endeavors that include Escrow Bank USA, BMW Bank of North America, Headwaters Incorporated, Franklin Covey, Primary Children’s Medical Center Foundation and NuSkin Enterprises, Inc.
David Deal (Vice-Chair)
Mr. Deal is an expert in royalty management and serves as the vice- chair of the full Royalty Policy Committee. After brief stints with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior, Mr. Deal joined the American Petroleum Institute (API) in 1975. At API he worked on a variety of federal environmental and natural resources matters, including royalty management. For five years, Mr. Deal served as director of API’s Office of General Counsel.
Mr. Deal is an active member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the American Bar Association (ABA) Section on Dispute Resolution and is vice-chair of the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources’ Global Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Committee.
Cynthia M. Lummis
Cynthia Lummis served as the elected Wyoming State Treasurer from 1999 to 2007.
In 1979, Ms. Lummis was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives – the youngest women ever elected to the Wyoming Legislature. She returned to the University of Wyoming for her law degree, which she received in 1985.
She clerked at the Wyoming Supreme Court, practiced law in Cheyenne, and served a total of fourteen years in the Wyoming House and Senate, concentrating on natural resource and taxation issues. Ms. Lummis completed her Legislative service in 1994. She continues to be involved in the daily operations of the Lummis family ranch.
As the Assistant Director of the Navajo Nation’s Minerals Department, Mr. Shirley serves as the Principal Investigator responsible for administering a Cooperative Agreement between the Navajo Nation and the Minerals Management Service (MMS).
Mr. Shirley has been an active participant in numerous policies and regulatory-related task groups formulated by MMS to provide guidance on Indian mineral valuation and royalty management issues. He has served as a previous chairperson of the Royalty Policy Committee and is currently an alternate member representing the Navajo Nation. In addition, he is a past chairperson of the State and Tribal Royalty Audit Committee.
Bob Wenzel served as the highest ranking career official in the IRS from 1998 to 2003, with responsibility for the day-to-day operation and strategic management of the United States tax administration system.
As the top career advisor to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, he directed major decisions regarding the operation of the agency with 100,000 employees and a budget of more than $10 billion. In this capacity, he was responsible for IRS programs that annually responded to more than 125 million customer service contacts, processed more than 227 million tax returns, issued 182 million tax refunds, accounted for $1.9 trillion in revenue receipts, examined 815 thousand returns, collected $32 billion in delinquent taxes, and investigated 4,000 tax fraud and related crimes.
Dr. Reyes serves as the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs and Director of Business and Economics Programs in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Idaho. Dr. Reyes is Professor of Finance and received his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.