United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 03, 2022

§ 5117.
Indian preference laws applicable to Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service positions
Establishment of retention categories for purposes of reduction-in-force procedures

For purposes of applying reduction-in-force procedures under subsection (a) of section 3502 of title 5 with respect to positions within the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service, the competitive and excepted service retention registers shall be combined, and any employee entitled to Indian preference who is within a retention category established under regulations prescribed under such subsection to provide due effect to military preference shall be entitled to be retained in preference to other employees not entitled to Indian preference who are within such retention category.

Reassignment of employees other than to positions in higher grades; authority to make determinations respecting
The Indian preference laws shall not apply in the case of any reassignment within the Bureau of Indian Affairs or within the Indian Health Service (other than to a position in a higher grade) of an employee not entitled to Indian preference if it is determined that under the circumstances such reassignment is necessary—
to assure the health or safety of the employee or of any member of the employee’s household;
in the course of a reduction in force; or
because the employee’s working relationship with a tribe has so deteriorated that the employee cannot provide effective service for such tribe or the Federal Government.
The authority to make any determination under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) is vested in the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to the Indian Health Service, and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary involved may not delegate such authority to any individual other than a Deputy Secretary or Assistant Secretary of the respective department.
Waiver of applicability in personnel actions; scope, procedures, etc.
Notwithstanding any provision of the Indian preference laws, such laws shall not apply in the case of any personnel action respecting an applicant or employee not entitled to Indian preference if each tribal organization concerned grants, in writing, a waiver of the application of such laws with respect to such personnel action.
The provisions of section 8336(j) of title 5 shall not apply to any individual who has accepted a waiver with respect to a personnel action pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection or to section 2011(f) 1
 See References in Text note below.
of this title.
Placement of non-Indian employees in other Federal positions; assistance of Office of Personnel Management; cooperation of other Federal agencies

The Office of Personnel Management shall provide all appropriate assistance to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service in placing non-Indian employees of such agencies in other Federal positions. All other Federal agencies shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible in such placement efforts.

For purposes of this section—
The term “tribal organization” means—
the recognized governing body of any Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, or other organized community, including a Native village (as defined in section 1602(c) of title 43); or
in connection with any personnel action referred to in subsection (c)(1) of this section, any legally established organization of Indians which is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by a governing body referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and which has been delegated by such governing body the authority to grant a waiver under such subsection with respect to such personnel action.
The term “Indian preference laws” means section 5116 of this title or any other provision of law granting a preference to Indians in promotions and other personnel actions.
The term “Bureau of Indian Affairs” means (A) the Bureau of Indian Affairs and (B) all other organizational units in the Department of the Interior directly and primarily related to providing services to Indians and in which positions are filled in accordance with the Indian preference laws.
(Pub. L. 96–135, § 2, Dec. 5, 1979, 93 Stat. 1057; Pub. L. 96–88, title V, § 509(b), Oct. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 695; Pub. L. 100–581, title II, § 205, Nov. 1, 1988, 102 Stat. 2940; Pub. L. 101–509, title V, § 529 [title I, § 112(c)], Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1427, 1454; Pub. L. 105–362, title VIII, § 801(e), title XIII, § 1302(d), Nov. 10, 1998, 112 Stat. 3288, 3294.)
cite as: 25 USC 5117