Tim MacDonald Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has come up with a clean audit for the first time in years and they are proud of it. “When I ran for this office that was my highest priority,” Chippewa Cree Business Committee Chairman John C. Houle said Thursday during a break in the committee’s monthly meeting Thursday. “We were getting 20 or more discrepancies on each audit. This year we had almost a clean slate with only two minor glitches.” Janice Meyers, who is the Chippewa Cree tribal secretary-treasurer, said it has been so long since the tribe has passed an audit that she can’t remember when it was. “This was important because we are under sanction, and it takes a really good audit for these to be lifted,” Meyers said in a phone interview today. She said this has to do with the ability to have self governance.’ Self governance, according to tribal chief of staff Richard Sangrey, is the ability to distribute funds at the tribes discretion, rather than having that money distributed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. “As you can imagine this is very important,” Sangrey said. “This is based on our audit, which goes to the various government bodies, and the Office of Self Governance.” The audit also affects the tribes ability to receive various federal grants. At the Business Committee meeting, the board voted to rehire the firm of Moss Adams of Bellingham, Wash. To perform this coming year’s audit. The firm performed the 2006 audit, which the tribe passed. The company barely defeated the firm of Ribail Stauffer and Associates of Liberty Lake, Wash., with a 3-to-3 vote, and Houle casting the tie-breaking vote. Meyers had recommended Moss Adams. “The only question about Moss Adams is whether they Would be able to get to us in a timely manner. It is my understanding that they have a lot on their plate already,” Houle said. The committee also voted to hire a tribal operations consultant and to interview specialist Pat O'Brien out of Portland, Ore., for the position. “We have been looking for a CPA to work with the tribe, but the one we were going to hire fell through,” Meyers said. “Mr. O’Brien was recommended to us. I haven’t talked to him in person yet, but he sounded promising. We will interview him in person and find out if he is what we are looking for.” “When you talk to this person we want to make sure he is available to work with the auditors when they are here,” Houle said.