Nomination of Paul Homan: Hearing Before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, First Session, Nomination ... 13, 1995, Washington, DC (Classic Reprint)
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:02 a.m. in room 485, Senate Russell Building, Hon. John McCain (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Senator McCain.
Statement of Hon. John McCain, U.S. Senator From Arizona, Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs
Senator McCain. The committee will come to order.
I want to welcome everyone to this hearing on the President's nomination of Paul Homan to be Special Trustee for American Indians.
Last fall when the Congress enacted the Indian Trust Funds Reform Act, we saw a very compelling need for the President to appoint a special trustee who would bring superior and demonstrated experience to the task of reforming the way the Department carries out its trust obligations to Indians, particularly in the area of financial trust management.
From the record already before this committee, Mr. Homan appears to have met the high standard of personal quality and competence set forth in the act. Re has had ample experience in the area of financial management. He has shouldered substantial responsibilities at the highest levels of both the public and private sectors. And of equal importance, Mr. Homan has earned the trust and support of many of the tribes who helped develop the Reform Act last year.
It is no secret that the Bureau of Indian Affairs [BIA] has had a terrible track record on Indian trust management. In some cases there appears to be no record of the BIA's actual failures because basic records that any ordinary trustee should have made or kept, cannot be found. In my view, the BIA's many failures amount to - when viewed in the best light - criminal negligence. Every failure of the Federal trustee is a theft from Indian people: these people are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the trust.
The BIA's failings in the area of Indian trust management have been well documented. Congress has responded by passing the Trust Funds Reform Act. It is high time that the administration vigorously implement that act with effective action.
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