National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC)
Open Government Plan
The NIGC’s Open Government Plan is the public roadmap that details how the NIGC will incorporate the principles of the President’s January 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government into the core mission objectives of the NIGC.
The high value information that is currently available for download via www.nigc.gov includes:
All compacts that gaming tribes have in place with their states
All enforcement actions issued by the NIGC for violations relating to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and its implementing regulations.
All advisory opinions issued by the NIGC’s Office of General Counsel on whether certain games fall within the IGRA definition of Class II or Class III games.
All current tribal gaming ordinances that must be approved by the NIGC Chairman before opening a gaming operation as required by the IGRA.
All Indian lands advisory opinions issued by the NIGC and the Department of the Interior on whether a tribe may game on certain lands.
A list of all gaming tribes and their gaming facility locations.
A list of all redacted versions of the management contracts approved by the NIGC Chairman that are in force between any gaming Indian tribe and its management contractor.
The NIGC’s publicly available website at www.nigc.gov fosters the public’s use of the above information to increase public knowledge and promote public scrutiny of NIGC services.
The NIGC will respond to need and demand of additional high value information as identified through public consultation.
The NIGC has complied with, or is in the process of complying with the following transparency initiative guidelines:
1. Data.gov: The NIGC will nominate three datasets under this initiative with the intent of publishing them by February 26, 2010.
2. eRulemaking: The NIGC publications on www.regulations.gov including fee rate notices, approved management contracts, bulletins and approved ordinances fields all comments that are submitted by the public from that website.
3. IT Dashboard: The source of the IT Dashboard data is the OMB’s collection of Exhibit 300 forms that the NIGC does not file because of its small size.
4. Recovery.gov: The NIGC receives no funds from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 money so there is no NIGC information published here.
5. USAspending.gov: USAspending.gov contains all the information automatically published by the Federal government’s Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), Federal Awards and Assistance Data System (FAADS) and GSA SmartPay systems.
The NIGC records management plan includes provisions for identifying and scheduling all electronic records, and ensuring the timely transfer of all permanently valuable records to the National Archives. The NIGC records management plan is published online at: NIGC Records Retention & Disposition Plan
The NIGC publishes a description of staffing, organizational structure, and process for analyzing and responding to FOIA requests at: Freedom of Information Act This NIGC webpage also contains an assessment of the NIGC’s capacity to analyze, coordinate, and respond to such requests in a timely manner.
Since there is no significant backlog of FOIA requests, there are currently no proposed changes, additional technological resources or reforms that the NIGC has determined are needed to strengthen the NIGC’s FOIA response processes.
All Congressional requests for information are fielded by an NIGC Congressional Affairs staffer who distributes the requests to the appropriate NIGC division for a prompt response.
The NIGC has no classified materials so the NIGC has no declassification program.
Through new consultations with tribes, the NIGC will seek to improve its tribal consultation policy which may be reviewed at: Tribal Consultation Policy
The NIGC conducts public engagement through feedback collected from its website at www.nigc.gov and also through public comments received as part of its rulemaking process at www.regulations.gov.
In 2010, the NIGC will improve internal collaboration by completing the development of its Tribal Information Management System (TIMS). TIMS will be a comprehensive database system available internally only to the NIGC across a secured website. TIMS will contain detailed information pertaining to all gaming tribes and their gaming facilities gathered from all the operating of the NIGC into one searchable electronic repository.
The Enforcement Division of the NIGC plays a critical role in processing background investigations at Indian gaming facilities. and The IGRA requires tribes to conduct background investigations on key employees and primary management officials, including submission of fingerprint cards to the FBI. The NIGC’s Enforcement Division in collaboration with the FBI processes thousands of investigative reports, fingerprint cards, and employee applications on an annual basis.
The NIGC’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC) represents the NIGC’s Chairman in all enforcement actions and, as needed, coordinates with the U.S. Department of Justice to implement the Commission’s enforcement actions. The NIGC’s OGC also coordinates opinions and other specific matters with the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor, and other federal agencies as necessary.
The Commission carries out its consultation efforts in a variety of ways such as holding field consultations, working with tribal advisory committees, requesting written comments, hosting direct meetings with the tribal governments and engaging in a process of communicating less formally with representatives of tribal governments.
In early 2003, the NIGC set out to establish its first formal consultation policy and received several constructive comments. In 2004 the NIGC formulated and implemented a government-to-government consultation policy in order to formalize a process by which we can consider the concerns and issues of tribal leaders and tribal gaming regulators. Since adoption of the policy, the NIGC has held several hundred tribal consultations and reached out to many more Indian gaming tribes.
The NIGC is currently reviewing its consultation policy with the intention of improving its precepts and its implementation. The NIGC will be consulting with tribes on this initiative. The most important partners external to the NIGC are the individual tribal governments.