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GAO seeks tribal members for advisory council

The GAO wants tribal input for a new council. (GAO)

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is forming its first-ever tribal advisory council to provide insights and recommendations on issues affecting tribal communities. The organization is seeking nominations to build membership in the new group.

According to an April 7 news release, the council will help inform the nonpartisan watchdog agency’s priorities in examining federal programs that serve tribal communities.

“The persistent challenges facing tribal communities are a national concern,” Gene L. Dodaro, comptroller general of the United States and head of the GAO, said in a statement. 

Dodaro said while the GAO does not generally audit Tribal Nation’s activities, it reviews several federal agencies and programs that serve tribes, their citizens and descendants.

“That work touches on such critical areas as health care, education, economic development, environmental protection, justice and infrastructure,” he said. “We look forward to the council’s input on emerging topics that warrant further attention; ways to ensure GAO work includes a diverse range of tribal and Indigenous perspectives; and the agency’s processes for working with tribes.”

The release said the council would include up to 15 members and could include elected or appointed officials from federally recognized tribes, from a state-recognized tribe and/or Native Hawaiian organization, or technical advisers who are knowledgeable about tribal and Indigenous issues. Council appointees are invited to serve terms of two or three years.

Nominations for terms beginning in August are now being accepted. Instructions and requirements are available here. Nominations should be submitted to by May 20.

According to its website, the GAO – an independent, nonpartisan agency – is sometimes referred to as the investigative arm of Congress. It works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy and funding decisions.

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