Public Law 102-477 at a Glance


Public Law 102-477 (usually referred to simply as "477") is the Indian Employment, Training, and Related Services Demonstration Act of 1992. It was recently 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. No tribe or Alaska Native entity is required to participate. The lead Federal agency for this inter-Departmental demonstration is the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Formula-funded programs in BIA, 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 Pub. L. 102-477 itself. All the funds involved in a tribe's "477 plan" are those which the tribe would otherwise receive under the authority of the individual programs it chooses to consolidate in its 477 plan.

Federal Programs Affected:

Pub. L. 102-477 applies to any Federal formula-funded program dealing with employment, training, or any related area. Each participating tribe decides which programs will be included in its 477 plan. Examples of programs typically included are as follows:

U.S. Department of Labor
WIA section 166 Comprehensive Services Program
WIA section 166 Supplemental Youth Services Program
Indian Welfare-to-Work (INA WtW) Program

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

U.S. 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
The Johnson-O'Malley (JOM) Program


As of July 1, 2001, there were 48 Federally-recognized tribes and Alaska Native entities participating in the demonstration under Pub. L. 102-477. Of these, 44 receive DOL funds (either WIA or INA WtW, or both). Collectively, these forty-eight 477 programs serve approximately forty percent of all Federally-recognized tribal members and/or those Native Americans residing in their service areas.


All of the 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 tribe's 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 those smaller tribes involved in the 477 demonstration, whose resources are often not commensurate with the needs of their people.

Recent Amendments:

Title XI of Public Law 106-568 authorizes tribes 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 the original 477 Act, title XI now allows 477 tribes to also request statutory waiver of those provisions which inhibit the successful implementation of their approved 477 plan. This should create even more latitude and flexibility in a participating tribe's ability to effectively deliver 477 services.

Participating in the Demonstration:

A tribe or Alaska Native entity enters the 477 demonstration by submitting a plan to BIA. The plan must describe which formula-funded employment and training-related programs the tribe 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 BIA at least 120 days before the start of the calendar quarter which the tribe 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, Mr. Terry Parks, or Ms. Rose LeBeau of the Division of Job Placement, Office of Economic Development, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20440. Their (voice) telephone numbers are: (202) 219-5270; (202) 208-5819; or (202) 208-2671, respectively.

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

Mr. Leo Cummings
477 Director
Three Affiliated Tribes
P.O. Box 597
New Town, North Dakota 58763
PHONE: (701) 627-4756
Ms. Sharon Olsen
Employment and Training Manager
Tlingit & Haida Central Council
320 West Willoughby
Juneau, Alaska 99801
PHONE: (907) 463-7134