September 25, 2016
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Interior Dept. Bolsters Plan For Indian Nations

 WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has released the Department’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2016, outlining the Department’s goals for America’s Great Outdoors, commitments to American Indian communities and responsible natural resource development. The five-year plan also emphasizes the Administration’s commitment to stronger science-based decision-making, higher ethical standards for employees as well as greater transparency and accountability to the American public.

“This blueprint provides a vision for a 21st Century Department,” said Salazar, who outlined the plan in remarks to Interior employees at an All-Hands Town Hall at Interior Headquarters. “It sets out mission priorities and guides our investments and allocation of resources for stewardship of America’s Great Outdoors, sustainably managing natural resources and strengthening our nation-to-nation relationship with American Indian Tribes and Native Alaskans. The plan also underscores our focus on enhanced safety for offshore energy development, stronger environmental protection and support for renewable energy technologies.”

“Change can be difficult but when you have good employees, the difficult becomes the possible,” said Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh. “Interior has great employees so I know we’re going to succeed. I’m very proud of the guidance we have presented because this Department’s missions are extremely important and highly relevant to the Nation and the American people.”

The Department’s programs support about $370 billion in economic activity each year. In terms that cannot be translated into dollars and cents, Interior offers unparalleled recreational opportunities in America’s national parks, wildlife refuges and other public areas, protects the Nation’s monuments and priceless landscapes, conserves wildlife and fisheries, preserves and interprets cultural sites that tell America’s story and manages vital water and energy resources.

The plan contains five mission goals that capture the Department’s overarching responsibilities for: stewardship of natural and cultural resources and providing quality visitor experiences to public recreational areas; the sustainable management of these lands and associated resources to help meet the Nation’s needs for energy, minerals and water; advancing the nation-to-nation relationships with 565 federally-recognized tribes and meeting commitments to Insular Areas; providing a scientific foundation for decision making; and building a 21st Century Department.

The last two goals were advanced significantly earlier this year when Interior became the first federal agency to adopt a Secretarial Order mandating that scientific integrity would be the hallmark for the agency and all activities it, or anyone working for it, undertook. The new policy, which will be codified in the Department Manual to ensure compliance by all employees, clearly affirms that Interior employees -- political appointees and career staff alike -- will never suppress scientific or technological findings or conclusions.

The policy covers all departmental employees when they engage in, supervise or manage scientific activities, analyze and/or publicly communicate information resulting from scientific activities, or use this information or analyses in making agency policy, management or regulatory decisions.

The plan also communicates short-term goals that are a priority focus for Interior’s efforts, including renewable energy development to promote the new energy frontier, water sustainability and conservation, climate change adaptation, youth in natural resources, and improvements in community safety in American Indian Country.

A set of principles that capture the Administration’s commitment to core values and high ideals is included in the plan. Foremost among those is ensuring high ethical standards, which is vital to maintain the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of government. The Department will conduct its business with impartiality and hold people accountable by promoting transparency, accountability and efficiency, and will itself expect to be held accountable.

Interior’s strategic plan will guide the Department’s efforts to integrate activities across a set of unique and diverse bureaus and offices, to collaborate with stakeholders, and to focus the efforts of its 70,000 skilled employees on a set of priority accomplishments. While the statutory mission of Interior has not changed with the release of this plan, the blueprint evolved to reflect the priorities of President Obama and Secretary Salazar. In accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act, strategic plans cover a five-year period and are updated at least every three years.

The revised plan was communicated to internal and external stakeholders, the general public and tribal communities, all of whom had the opportunity to comment on the proposal. Once all comments were received and reviewed, the plan was finalized for publication.

READ STRATEGIC PLAN HERE


STORY TAGS: NATIVE AMERICAN NEWS, INDIAN NEWS, NATIVE NEWS, MINORITY NEWS, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY



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