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Tribal Notification on Status of Federal Funding

Dear Tribal Leader:

As you are aware, the current continuing resolution for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding that the Indian Health Service (IHS) is operating under ends on Friday, December 21, 2018, and neither an Appropriation Act for FY 2019 nor another continuing resolution has been enacted yet.  In the event a continuing resolution or a FY 2019 budget is not enacted and a lapse of funding occurs, I want to provide you with information related to your IHS-funded activities.

Your current Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) agreement is funded by appropriations that will be affected by the government shutdown should one occur.  However HHS has determined Tribally-managed programs operating under ISDEAA agreements are “excepted programs” in which functions must  continue under the following criteria defined by OMB: addresses emergency circumstances, such that the suspension of the function would imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property.”  This designation means that the IHS may incur the obligation to enter into the agreement, but the agency cannot pay Tribes or Tribal organizations contracting under the ISDEAA until appropriations are enacted.  Therefore, there will be no funding available from the IHS until such time as appropriations are enacted and available for such purpose.  We acknowledge that this circumstance may result in insufficient funds to carry out the terms of the agreement and that the program may cease to operate.

To the extent that you have amounts available from prior year funding under your ISDEAA agreement, those amounts are available to continue the contracted/compacted activities on the same basis as they normally would be.

I also want to make you aware of information related to any federal employees who are working within your Tribal programs under Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreements or Memorandum of Agreements (MOA).  Commissioned Officers will continue work as normal under their MOAs.  Employees working for Tribally-managed programs under IPAs are designated as Excepted employees, since they are working in an Excepted program.  Therefore, they will receive a notice that informs them of this status.  

We know this notice does not answer all of the questions you may have.  This is an informal notice and if a lapse in appropriations does occur, we will follow up with additional information.