Department Of Interior

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Contact: Nedra Darling
For Immediate Release: June 23, 2003


Sessions to be Held June 24 in Aberdeen, S.D. and June 25 in Muskogee, Okla.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of the Interior (DOI) is continuing its schedule of presentations to employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) on the reorganization of both agencies. This week, employees of the Great Plains Regional Office in Aberdeen, S.D., will be visited on June 24 and Eastern Oklahoma Regional Office employees will be briefed on June 25 in Muskogee, Okla. The Department is seeking to increase accountability and efficiency in its trust management functions by reorganizing the agencies that manage Indian trust funds and assets. Presentations have been held this month at the Bureau's 12 regional offices and other locations around the nation.

Employees will be briefed on the Department's plan for reorganization of the BIA and OST, and on the Comprehensive Trust Management Plan (CTMP) at morning sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. The CTMP describes how the new BIA and OST organizational structures will improve the delivery of trust services when the reorganization is completed. Tribal leaders from each region will also be briefed on the reorganization effort in subsequent sessions.

In 2002, the Department and the Tribes together undertook an ambitious effort to change the way the BIA and OST deliver trust and non-trust services to Tribes, tribal service populations and trust beneficiaries. The Plan is based on agreements reached with the Joint Tribal Leaders/DOI Task Force established by Secretary Gale Norton to examine and recommend proposals for improving service delivery to recipients and beneficiaries.

WHO: U.S. Department of the Interior

WHAT: Departmental presentations on the reorganization of the BIA and OST to
Great Plains Region and Eastern Oklahoma Region Federal employees.

BIA/OST Reorganization - Page 2

WHEN: Great Plains Region: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 (all start times are local time):
Aberdeen, South Dakota
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Presentation of BIA/OST reorganization
10:00 a.m.: DOI officials' availability for press interviews and photo ops

Eastern Oklahoma Region: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 (all start times are
local time): Muskogee, Oklahoma
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Presentation of BIA/OST reorganization
10:00 a.m.: DOI officials' availability for press interviews and photo ops

WHERE: Great Plains Region: Aberdeen (June 24)
Best Western Ramoka Hotel, 1400 - 8th Avenue, N.W., Aberdeen, S.D.,
(605) 229-4040.

Eastern Oklahoma Region: Muskogee (June 25)
The Bacone Inn, Oklahoma/Tahlequah Conference Rooms, 2360 East Shawnee,
Muskogee, Okla., (918) 683-6551.

CREDENTIALS: Press registration will be provided. Please bring your sanctioned media credentials and if possible, wear on your shirt collar or around your neck for easy viewing. This will assist our staff. Press seating will be provided.


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