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Update on Contract Support Costs

On September 9, 2013, I sent a letter to Tribes that included an update on Contract Support Costs (CSC) and information on a plan to discuss calculation of estimates of CSC in the pre-award context with Tribes. As indicated in the letter, the next steps were to meet with the IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee (TSGAC) and the IHS Direct Service Tribal Advisory Committee (DSTAC) to develop a charge for a smaller group to make specific recommendations on developing standards for the contract negotiations. This week I met with the IHS TSGAC, and we had a productive discussion on the topic of CSC and agreed to move forward with a discussion on how CSC is calculated in the pre-award, or negotiations, phase. We also discussed TSGAC's recommendation to convene the IHS CSC Workgroup to discuss and make recommendations on this topic, and I agreed with that recommendation. The IHS TSGAC will send me their written recommendations after this week, and I will also discuss this with the IHS DSTAC next week. This conversation has the potential to help us move forward and make progress on CSC issues in contract negotiations. I will provide an update after meeting with the IHS DSTAC next week and when we are ready to give a specific charge to the CSC Workgroup. We will convene that group as soon as possible to allow them to make recommendations.

I appreciate all the input we have received from Tribes and we are working to continue progress on this issue.