The Northern Arapaho Tribe is currently being sanctioned for not submitting their audits for the last couple of years, and the audits that were submitted, up to 2010, received poor marks. The audits found that everything from timely drawdowns to proper tracking of tribal and federal funds to a suitable Human Resources system that hired qualified workers and paid them appropriate wages were missing or lacking. The tribe put together a corrective action plan after the 2009 audit.
Former Director of a Women, Infants, and Children program on the reservation, Cindy Washakie, says one of the main issues was that federal money intended for specific programs was being mixed with tribal money and used up for other expenses.
“All of our money that’s in the federal money, it would go down into one general fund. So our tribal money is in there. That was one of our audit findings is that that had to be separated. Well it never was, and what had happened to me as a director was I couldn’t pay my invoices to my consultants or my bills,” says Washakie.
The Business Council is responsible for financial management for the tribe. A new Council took over in January and has promised to address the audits’ findings.
The Council has “ordered a top to bottom review of all programs, both tribal and federal, to determine if either improper spending is taking place and if personnel changes are required.”