(a) The regulations in this part implement the Tribal Transportation Self Governance Program established in 23 U.S.C. 207 and set forth rules for compacts and funding agreements negotiated between the Department and Tribes eligible under the Program.
(b) The Department prepared and issued these rules pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 207(n) with the active participation and representation of Tribes, Tribal organizations, consortia, and individual Tribal members, consistent with the procedures of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act.
It is the Department's policy to:
(a) Recognize the unique government-to-government relationship with Tribes, including the right of Tribes to self-government, and to support Tribal sovereignty and self-determination;
(b) Encourage Tribes to participate in the Program;
(c) Affirm and enable the United States to fulfill its obligations to Tribes under treaties and other laws, and to ensure the continuation of the trust responsibility of the United States to Tribes and Indians that exist under treaties, other laws, and Executive orders;
(d) Interpret Federal laws and regulations in a manner that will facilitate the inclusion of eligible funds in funding agreements under the Program to carry out Tribal PSFAs, except as otherwise provided by law;
(e) Consult with Tribes directly and meaningfully on policies that have Tribal implications and affect the Program;
(f) Acknowledge that Tribes perform PSFAs as an exercise of Tribal self-determination and self-governance; are responsible for day-to-day operation of PSFAs carried out under the Program; and accept responsibility and accountability for the use of funds and satisfactory performance consistent with the terms of funding agreements; and
(g) Liberally construe this part to effectuate 23 U.S.C. 207 for the benefit of Tribes participating in the Program.
(a) A Tribe may apply for the Program at any time, but nothing in this part requires a Tribe to do so.
(b) A Tribe's decision to participate in the Program does not:
(1) Affect, modify, diminish, or otherwise impair the sovereign immunity from suit enjoyed by the Tribe;
(2) Terminate, waive, modify, or reduce the trust responsibility of the United States to the Tribe or individual Indians; or
(3) Reduce the amount of the Tribe's formula or discretionary funding from the Department or impair the Tribe's ability to obtain funding from another Federal program.
A Tribe's performance under the Program is not subject to any Departmental circular, policy, manual, guidance, or rule, except for this part, unless the Department and the Tribe otherwise negotiate and agree in the compact or funding agreement.
The Department will carry out the Program, including making eligibility determinations; negotiating compacts and funding agreements with Tribes; overseeing compliance with Department requirements; and otherwise administering and implementing the Program consistent with this part. As provided in § 29.402, a Tribe is responsible for day-to-day management of the Tribe's PSFAs consistent with the compact and funding agreement.
The Department must consult with Tribes on matters relating to the Program. The Department will carry out consultations in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and applicable Department policies, including the Department's Tribal Consultation Plan.
This Program does not terminate existing authority for a Tribe to enter into agreements with the Federal Highway Administration, or contracts or agreements with the Department of the Interior, for the Tribal Transportation Program. A Tribe may maintain its current contracts or agreements, or include Tribal Transportation Program funds in a funding agreement under this Program. A Tribe may only have one agreement at a time for the same funds.
If more than one party purports to be the authorized representative of a Tribe during the negotiation of a compact, funding agreement, or amendment, the Department will notify the parties, consult with the Department of the Interior, defer negotiation or execution of any documents, if necessary, until such authority is clarified, and provide written notice to the parties of the Department's decision to defer.
Unless otherwise provided, the following definitions apply to this part:
Appeal means a request by a Tribe for an administrative or judicial review of a decision by the Department.
Self-Governance Official means a Department official responsible for overseeing the Program and carrying out the responsibilities set forth in this part.
Compact means a legally binding and mutually enforceable written agreement between the Department and a Tribe entered into pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 207(c) and this part that sets forth the general terms that will govern the Tribe's participation in the Program and affirms the government-to-government relationship.
Consortium means an organization or association of Tribes that is authorized by those Tribes to participate in the Program under this part and is responsible for negotiating, executing, and implementing compacts and funding agreements on behalf of its member Tribes.
Consultation means the process by which the Department and Tribes engage in timely, substantive, and meaningful government-to-government communication, collaboration and participation, and exchange views in furtherance of the Federal trust responsibility and the principles of self-governance, before any action is taken that will have Tribal implications as defined by Executive Order 13175, in accordance with the Department's Tribal Consultation Plan, Executive Order 13175, all subsequent Presidential Memoranda regarding Tribal consultation, and applicable Federal law.
Contractor means a third party who has entered into a legally binding agreement with a Tribe to provide goods or services.
Days means calendar days. When the last day of any time period specified in this part falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the period shall carry over to the next business day unless otherwise prohibited by law.
Department means the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Discretionary or competitive grant means funds provided by the Department where it selects the award amount and recipients from among all eligible applicants consistent with the legislative and regulatory requirements and selection criteria established for a program.
Excess property means real or personal property under the control of a Federal agency that is not required for the agency's needs and the discharge of its responsibilities.
Funding agreement means a legally binding and mutually enforceable written agreement between the Department and a Tribe entered into pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 207(d) and this part that identifies the funds the Tribe will use to carry out its PSFAs, and sets forth the terms and conditions under which the Tribe will receive the funds.
Gross mismanagement means a significant, clear, and convincing violation of a compact, funding agreement, or regulatory or statutory requirements applicable to Federal funds included in a compact and funding agreement that results in a significant reduction of funds available for a PSFA carried out by a Tribe.
Imminent jeopardy means an immediate threat to a trust asset, natural resource, or public health and safety that is caused by the act or omission of a Tribe and that arises out of a failure by the Tribe to carry out the compact or funding agreement.
Indian means a person who is a member or citizen of a Tribe.
Indian Tribe or Tribe means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community (including colonies and rancherias) that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. In any case in which an Indian Tribe has authorized another Indian Tribe, an intertribal consortium, or a Tribal organization to plan for or carry out PSFAs on its behalf under this part, the authorized Indian Tribe, intertribal consortium, or Tribal organization shall have the rights and responsibilities of the authorizing Indian Tribe (except as otherwise provided in the authorizing resolution or in title 23 of the U.S. Code). In such event, the term Indian Tribe or Tribe as used in this part shall include such other authorized Indian Tribe, intertribal consortium, or Tribal organization.
Inherent Federal functions means those Federal functions that cannot legally be delegated to a non-Federal entity, including a Tribe.
Operating Administration means a component administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Program means the Tribal Transportation Self-Governance Program established by 23 U.S.C. 207.
Project means any activity determined as being eligible under the U.S. Code title and program for which funds are being provided.
Programs, services, functions, and activities or PSFAs means programs, services, functions, and activities, or portions thereof, that a Tribe carries out using funds included in a funding agreement under the Program.
Real property means any interest in land together with the improvements, structures, and fixtures and appurtenances.
Reassumption means the termination, in whole or part, of a funding agreement and assuming or reassuming the remaining funds included in the compact and funding agreement pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 207(f)(2)(A).
Receipt means the actual date on which a submission is received. With respect to receipt by the Department, receipt is the date on which the Department official specified in this part receives the submission. Demonstration of receipt includes a postal return receipt, express delivery service receipt, or any other method that demonstrates actual receipt by the Departmental official specified in this part, including via electronic mail.
Retrocession means the voluntary return of a Tribe's PSFA and associated remaining funds for any reason before or on the expiration of the term of the funding agreement.
Secretary means the Secretary of Transportation.
Self-Determination Contract means a contract (or grant or cooperative agreement) entered into pursuant to title I of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5321) between a Tribe and the appropriate Federal agency for the planning, conducting and administration of programs or services that are otherwise provided to Tribes.
Self-governance means the Federal policy of Indian self-determination and self-government rooted in the inherent sovereignty of Tribes, reflected in the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Tribes, and expressed in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Public Law 93-638, as amended, and the policy of Tribal self-determination established under the Program.
State means any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.
Surplus government property means excess real or personal property that is not required for the needs of and the discharge of the responsibilities of all Federal agencies that has been declared surplus by the General Services Administration.
Technical assistance means the process by which the Department provides targeted support to a Tribe with a development need or problem.
Transit means regular, continuing shared ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public or open to a segment of the general public defined by age, disability, or low income, excluding the transportation services set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5302(14)(B).
Tribal Transportation Program (TTP) means a program established in section 1119 of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), Public Law 112-141 (July 6, 2012), and codified in 23 U.S.C. 201 and 202. The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), Public Law 114-94 (December 4, 2015) reauthorized this program.
TTP Agreement means an agreement between a Tribe and either the Federal Highway Administration or the Bureau of Indian Affairs pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 202 that authorizes a Tribe to carry out all but the inherently Federal functions of the TTP.
Tribal Organization means the recognized governing body of any Tribe, any legally established organization of Indians that is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by such governing body or is democratically elected by the adult members of the Indian community to be served by such organization, and includes the maximum participation of Indians in all phases of its activities.