Defining Public Law 102-477


Public Law 102-477 is the Indian Employment, Training, and Related Services Demonstration Act of 1992, as amended by Public Law 106-568, the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act of 2000. Public Law 102-477 is unique among Federal legislation, in that it allows Federally-recognized Tribes and Alaska Native entities to combine formula-funded Federal grants funds, which are employment and training-related into a single plan with a single budget and a single reporting system.

Participation in the demonstration is completely voluntary. The lead Federal agency for this inter-Departmental demonstration is the Department of the Interior (DOI), Office of Indian Energy & Economic Development. Formula-funded programs in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education are involved. Public Law 102-477 is permanent legislation; it has no expiration date.


There is no separate funding associated with Public Law 102-477. All the funds involved in an entity's "477" plan are those which the entity would otherwise receive under the authority of the individual programs it chooses to consolidate in its "477" plan. For Program Year 2006, $7,436,704 in Comprehensive Services funding for adults was transferred to the DOI under "477". Also for Program Year 2006, $3,383,316 in Supplemental Youth Services funding for adults was transferred to the DOI.

Federal Programs Affected:

Public Law 102-477 applies to any Federal formula-funded program dealing with employment, training, or any related area, that the entity is eligible to receive. Each participating entity specifies which programs will be included in its "477" plan. Examples of programs typically included are as follows:

U.S.  DOI, Bureau of Indian Affairs
General Assistance (GA) Program
Tribal Work Experience (TWEP) Program
BIA Employment Assistance - Adult Vocational Training (AVT) Program
BIA Employment Assistance - Direct Employment (DE) Program
BIA Higher Education Program
BIA Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program
Johnson-O'Malley (JOM) Program

U.S. Department of Labor
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Section 166 Comprehensive Services Program
WIA Section 166 Supplemental Youth Services Program

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Native Employment Works (NEW) Program
Tribal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program
Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Program


As of Program Year 2006, there are 43 Federally-recognized Tribes and Alaska Native entities participating in the demonstration under Public Law 102-477 and receiving Section 166 program funds.  Approximately one-third of the entities are located in Alaska. 


Participating Tribes or Alaska Native entities have significantly improved the effectiveness of the delivery of those services included in their “477” plan. The number(s) of individuals served with the same total resources has increased greatly due to the reduction of administrative burden(s) imposed by the individual pieces of legislation incorporated in the entities’ “477” plan. As a result, outcomes such as job placements, successful completion of individual client programs, and support of tribal economic development efforts have also increased or been enhanced. Areas where administrative savings usually occur include maintenance of participant records, planning and grant document submission, financial and participant reporting, and personnel practices (such as having to divide staff time between different Federally-funded programs). Spending fewer resources on administrative requirements means more of those resources are devoted to client services. This is especially important for smaller grantees involved in the “477” demonstration, whose resources are often not commensurate with the needs of their people.

2000 Amendments:

Title XI of Public Law 106-568 authorizes entities participating in the “477” demonstration to devote up to 25% (depending on their local unemployment rate) of their 477 resources to economic development efforts, regardless of any other statutory or regulatory prohibitions contained in individual programs. Although regulatory waiver authority was contained in Public Law 102-477, Title XI now allows “477” entities to also request statutory waiver of those provisions which inhibit the successful implementation of their approved “477” plan. This should create more latitude and flexibility in a participating entity's ability to effectively deliver “477” services.

Participating in the Demonstration:

A Tribe or Alaska Native entity enters the “477” demonstration by submitting an application and plan to the DOI, Office of Indian Energy & Economic Development- Division of Workforce Development. The plan must describe which formula-funded employment and training-related programs the entity will include, and how the tribe will integrate the services to be provided. The plan must be accompanied by a tribal resolution authorizing participation in the “477” demonstration. The 477 plan may be submitted at any time, but should be sent to the DOI at least 120 days before the start of the calendar quarter which the entity proposes as its implementation date. The plan will then be reviewed by all the Federal agencies whose programs are included therein. Once approved, the “477” plan usually lasts for three years from the date of implementation and can be modified by tribal request at any time. All modifications are subject to Federal agency approval through the same interagency review process.

For More Information:

The 477 requirements and operating procedures are described in a document entitled "Guidance to Tribal Governments". This document and additional information is available from either Ms. Lynn Forcia, Chief of the Division of Workforce Development, Office of Indian Energy & Economic Development, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1951 Constitution Avenue, NW, MS-18-SIB, Washington, D.C. 20240. Her telephone number is: (202) 219-5270.  Her fax number is: (202) 208-6991.

Tribes and Alaska Native entities participating in the demonstration have formed an ad-hoc "477 Tribal Work Group". The Co-Chairs for that Work Group are:

Ms. Margaret Zientek
477 Director
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
1601 South Gordon Cooper Drive
Shawnee, Oklahoma 74801
PHONE: (405) 275-5269
Ms. Sharon Olsen
Employment and Director
Tlingit & Haida Central Council
320 West Willoughby- Suite 300
Juneau, Alaska 99801
PHONE: (907) 463-7134