The Bureau of Indian Affairs is like the Soviet economy: It's forever being repaired but never gets fixed. A new Senate committee report details the agency's record of waste, corruption and mismanagement.
Indian preferences in contracting have spawned Indian-front companies. The Senate's two-year study found that 19 of the largest contractors are fronts for non-Indian businesses. Abuse is the norm rather than the exception in loan programs, management of Indian trust funds, procurement, computer services and road construction. Tribal resources the bureau is charged with protecting have been stolen or neglected.Judging by Indians' welfare, the bureau has failed miserably. Unemployment on reservations averages 45 percent, and 40 percent of the housing on reservations is substandard.
The senators note that the agency has been reformed 42 times. This time scrap the bureau.