U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Announces Intention to Form its First Tribal Advisory Council

On April 7, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) posted a notice in the Federal Register indicating the agency’s “intention to form its first standing Tribal Advisory Council (TAC).”  The full notice is available here.

GAO is an independent, non-partisan agency, that is part of the legislative branch.  They provide information to Congress on how taxpayer dollars are spent and provide Congress with information and recommendations for better operation of federal programs.  GAO regularly studies a wide range of issues critical to Indian Country, and their reports often influence the legislative process.  The Federal Register notice says that “The TAC will advise GAO on vital and emerging issues affecting Tribes and Indigenous peoples for the purpose of informing GAO’s strategic goals and priorities with respect to the agency’s work evaluating federal programs serving Tribes and related topics.”

According to the notice, the TAC is to be composed of 15 members who are elected or appointed leaders from federally recognized Tribes; an elected or appointed leader of a state recognized Tribe and/or Native Hawaiian organization.  There is also an option for “technical advisors who may be representatives of national or regional tribal or Native-serving organizations or subject-matter experts on topics relevant to Tribes and Indigenous peoples.”

Terms for TAC members will be two or three years, and the TAC will meet at least once a year.  Nominations should be submitted to by May 20, 2022.  Additional information about specific materials that are needed for the nomination is contained in the notice.