RealNews

Report: Interior Hid Computer Failure From Judge

A federal judge was kept in the dark about failures in a computer system created to help track royalty payments that were owed to Native Americans, a court-appointed investigator reported yesterday. Last September, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton had defrauded the court by making misleading statements about the department’s efforts to fix management problems of oil, gas, mining, timber and other royalties from Indian lands. That included covering up failures of the Trust Asset and Accounting Management System. Yesterday, Alan Balaran, a court-appointed special master in the case, said the Interior Department made a concerted effort to sanitize its report on the computer system to make it appear to be working well. He said the department ignored advice from its own experts, who said the report as presented to the court was misleading and inaccurate. Full Story

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