Eligibility and Funding
Eligibility for the IHS Tribal Self-Governance Program
To be eligible to participate in the Tribal Self-Governance Program (TSGP), a Tribe must:
- Complete a Planning Phase Each Tribe is required to complete a planning phase to the satisfaction of the Tribe. This planning phase must include legal and budgetary research and internal Tribal government planning and organizational preparation relating to the administration of health care programs.
- Request Participation in the IHS Tribal Self-Governance Program Each Tribe to be served must submit a Tribal resolution or other official action by the governing body of the Tribe requesting participation in the TSGP.
- Demonstrate Three Years of Financial Stability and Financial Management Capability For the three years prior to participation in the TSGP, the Tribe must show evidence that there have been no uncorrected significant and material audit exceptions in the required annual audit of the Tribe's Self-Determination Contracts or Self-Governance Funding Agreements with any Federal agency.
A Tribe may also choose to authorize another Indian Tribe, an inter-Tribal consortium, or a Tribal Organization to participate in the TSGP on its behalf (see 25 U.S.C. §458aaa(b)). For additional information on eligibility for the TSGP, please see Section 503 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA), 25 U.S.C. §458aaa-2, and the accompanying regulations found at 42 C.F.R. §137.15-26.
Funding Opportunities - Cooperative Agreements
Title V of the ISDEAA provides the OTSG statutory authority to offer Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreements to assist Tribes in planning and negotiations activities associated with the IHS TSGP. A Cooperative Agreement is a form of grant, in that all of the same requirements and procedures apply. However, the main difference between the two award instruments is the degree of Federal programmatic involvement. Cooperative Agreement awards involve much more substantive Federal program specific involvement than a grant.
The Fiscal Year 2023 TSGP Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreement Funding Opportunities are available.
Planning Cooperative Agreement Purpose: The purpose of this Planning Cooperative Agreement is to provide resources to Tribes interested in entering the TSGP and to existing Self-Governance Tribes interested in assuming new or expanded PSFAs. Title V of the ISDEAA requires a Tribe or Tribal organization to complete a planning phase to the satisfaction of the Tribe. The planning phase must include legal and budgetary research and internal Tribal government planning and organization preparation relating to the administration of health care programs. See 25 U.S.C. 458aaa-2(d). The planning phase helps Tribes to make informed decisions about which PSFAs to assume and what organizational changes or modifications are necessary to successfully support those PSFAs. Five awards are available for $180,000 each. Below is a link to the federal register and to grants.gov for the full application.
Negotiation Cooperative Agreement Purpose: Provides Tribes with resources to help defray the costs related to preparing for and conducting TSGP negotiations. The design of the negotiation process: 1) enables a Tribe to set its own priorities when assuming responsibility for IHS PSFAs, 2) observes the government-to-government relationship between the United States and each Tribe, and 3) involves the active participation of both Tribal and IHS representatives, including the OTSG. Negotiations provide an opportunity for the Tribal and Federal negotiation teams to work together in good faith to enhance each Self-Governance agreement. Five awards are available for $84,000 each. Below is a link to the federal register and to grants.gov for the full application.
Project Period: One year.
- Be an "Indian Tribe" as defined in 25 U.S.C. § 450b(e); a "Tribal Organization" as defined in 25 U.S.C. § 450b(l); or an "Inter-Tribal Consortium" as defined at 42 C.F.R. § 137.10. However, Alaska Native Villages or Alaska Native Village Corporations are not eligible if they are located within the area served by an Alaska Native regional health entity. See Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-76. By statute, the Native Village of Eyak, Eastern Aleutian Tribes, Inc., and the Council for Athabascan Tribal Governments have also been deemed Alaska Native regional health entities and therefore are eligible to apply. Those Alaska Tribes not represented by a Self-Governance Tribal consortium Funding Agreement within their area may still be considered to participate in the TSGP.
- Submit a Tribal resolution from the appropriate governing body of each Indian Tribe to be served by the ISDEAA Compact authorizing the submission of the Cooperative Agreement application. Tribal consortia applying for a TSGP Cooperative Agreement shall submit Tribal Council resolutions from each Tribe in the consortium. Tribal resolutions can be attached to the electronic online application. Applications by Tribal organizations will not require a specific Tribal resolution if the current Tribal resolution(s) under which they operate would encompass the proposed grant activities.
- Demonstrate, for three fiscal years, financial stability and financial management capability. The Indian Tribe must provide evidence that, for the three years prior to participation in Self-Governance, the Indian Tribe has had no uncorrected significant and material audit exceptions in the required annual audit of the Indian Tribe's Self-Determination Contracts or Self-Governance Funding Agreements with any Federal agency. See 25 U.S.C. § 458aaa-2; 42 C.F.R. §§ 137.15-23.
Limited Competition Justification: There is limited competition under these announcements because the authorizing legislation restricts eligibility to Tribes that meet specific criteria. See 25 U.S.C. 458aaa-2(e); 42 C.F.R. §§ 137.24-26; see also 42 C.F.R. § 137.10.
Review & Selection: Applications are reviewed for merit by the Objective Review Committee (ORC) based on the evaluation criteria (identified for each funding opportunity). The ORC is composed of both Tribal and Federal reviewers appointed by the OTSG to review and make recommendations on these applications. The technical review process ensures selection of quality projects in a national competition for limited funding. Incomplete applications and applications that are non-responsive to the eligibility criteria will not be referred to the ORC.
Note: The receipt of a Cooperative Agreement is not a prerequisite to enter the TSGP; a Tribe may use its own resources. Tribes that receive Cooperative Agreements are not obligated to enter the TSGP and may choose to delay or decline participation in the TSGP.
Roxanne Houston, Program Analyst, Office of Tribal Self-Governance