Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Allakaket

Community:
Allakaket 
Staff:
Jeremy Johnson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Fairbanks regional office 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Allakaket Village 
Population:
108 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Pending 
Assessment Date:
4/25/2014 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/7/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
There is no piped water or wastewater in the community. The school is on its own water system. The washateria has three bathrooms, two with showers and one with a bathtub, all of them are operational. The washateria also has clothes washers and dryers but not all of them are working. There is a water line outside of the washateria that residents can fill jugs with treated water and haul it home, there is no cost for this.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On April 15, RUBA staff began conducting the RUBA assessment of management indicator with tribal staff. The bookkeeper is aware that the tribe is not going to meet all the indicators of the assessment and knows that it will serve as a basis to identify areas for improvement. Information and limited data was collected to support the assessment which will be drafted and provided to the tribe for review, after which it will become finalized. On May 2 the draft assessment was sent to the tribe, the email stated that they have 10 days to make any corrections or submit any additional information, no reply was received. On May 15, RUBA staff sent the finalized assessment to the tribal bookkeeper (there is no tribal administrator). 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Make monthly contact with the tribal office to offer assistance to correct the essential indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
17 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
11 of 27
Total Score:
28 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
Yes The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
No The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.
No YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
No YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city owns the washateria but has leased it to the tribe to maintain and operate; the leased period is from April 6, 2005 until April 6, 2025. The tribe does not have a budget for the washateria and tribal funds are managed by Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), Office of Self Governance, located in Fairbanks. The tribe does not manage any of their funds. An intention of the assessment is to try and determine how successfully the tribe is managing the washateria and use that as a basis for a conclusion on how successfully it would be at managing a future water utility expansion, such as piped service. The tribal bookkeeper reports that if the council requests financial reports they are created and provided but there are no standard financial reports given. According to the 2004 washateria business plan, it will be the responsibility of the tribal administrator to create a budget and submit it to the council for approval, but the tribe has been without an administrator and no budget has been created. Bills are not entered into QuickBooks when they are received so there was no Accounts Payable report to obtain. The electric bills do have past due notices on them, but the bookkeeper stated that they are current with the most recent ones. The city has started to provide the heating fuel for the washateria, although this is not established in the lease agreement and RUBA staff is uncertain on the long term sustainability of this agreement. The tribe has purchased heating fuel in the past. RUBA is unable to determine if revenues are enough to cover expenses (because there is no budget or financial reports) but when the business plan was created for the washateria it was stated that “it is expected that the revenue generated from user fees will be less than the total costs to operate the systems. The tribal council has specific local capital contributions to subsidize revenue from user fees.” The washateria is supported by self-governance, Indian Health Services, and user fees. A budget and financial report will need to show the subsidy, which tribal program the funds are coming from and the net reduction from each program.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
Yes The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
Yes An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
Yes An accounts payable system is in place.
Yes The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
Yes A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
Yes The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
Yes Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
Yes The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts.
Accounting Systems Comments
There is no collection policy to follow because payment is received at the time of service and there are no bills. Customers purchase tokes for laundry and showers and the watering point is free. The tribe has QuickBooks and has the ability to track customers and report past due accounts but since there are no monthly billed customers the accounts receivable features is not necessary. The tribe can generate Profit and Loss reports since it does record expenses, aside from token sales all other income is grant revenue. The chart of accounts is extremely long and not practical. The bank accounts have been reconciled and the tribe follows TCC’s purchasing policy. For purchases under $500 the bookkeeper will review a report from TCC (who manages the tribe’s funds) to determine if there is sufficient money before making the purchase. Anything over $500 requires the approval of the tribal council. There is often a delay in paying the bills which will results in past due notices. The delay is a result of not having local, tribal, management of funds and having to request release of monies from TCC before the tribe can send out checks.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No The utility is current on filing tax reports.
No The utility is current on making tax deposits.
No If there are any past due tax liabilities or recorded tax liens, a lien release has been issued or a repayment agreement has been signed and repayments are current.
Tax Problems Comments
The tribe has QuickBooks to calculate, track and report on payroll liabilities, although, the reports and funds are not reaching the Internal Revenue Service or Alaska Department of Labor. According to a December 2013 and June 27, 2014 communication from the state Department of Labor the tribe is not in compliance. The Internal Revenue Service, according to a March 25, 2014 communication, reports that the tribe is not in compliance either. No repayment agreement has been established. A follow up on July 1 with the IRS also confirms they are not compliant.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
No The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
No The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation.
Yes The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
No The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
Yes The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
Yes The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The tribe does not have workers’ compensation insurance, as is legally required. The insurance company canceled coverage in December 2013. The tribe is currently paying off an $11,000 fine for not having coverage a few years ago. The penalty for no coverage can be severe, up to $1,000 a day per employee, it is very strongly recommended to have coverage. The tribe uses TCC’s personnel policy for employees hired under and paid for through TCC but also has a Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (TERO) which is part of the 2010 adopted tribal code and traditional constitution of the Allakak’a Tribe. Job descriptions for the washateria employees existed at one time but could not be located during the on-site RUBA visit. Employee evaluations are not a standard practice. The hiring process is spelled out in both TCC personnel policy and the local TERO. Employee files do not contain an I-9 or letter of acceptance, this is sporadically done and there are none for the washateria employees.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
Yes The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
Yes The policy making body enforces utility policy.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
Yes The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances (or rules and regulations) necessary to give it the authority to operate.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The city is the legal owner of the washateria and has a lease with the tribe; a copy of the lease is on file in Fairbanks. The tribal council meets and discusses policy; they are active in making decision. The position of administrator (manager) is vacant. The bookkeeper and operator are adequately trained and the operator has the certificate level appropriate for the utility. An organizational chart could not be located. The tribe is not subject to the State of Alaska Open Meetings Act.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
Yes The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The manager receives a monthly O&M report from the utility operator and routinely "spot checks" the facilities to see that the maintenance items are being completed.
No The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
No The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The operator has the required level of certification; he is provisionally certified for wastewater and according to Village Safe Water needs to keeping working to obtain the necessary hours. All his certificates are good until 2016. There is a preventative maintenance plan and also parts lists. TCC completes the Consumer Confidence Report on behalf of the tribe and they are not on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s most recent Significant Non-Compliance list. There is no manager for the operator to provide a monthly report to but when requested by the council, he has provided a report. There are issues regarding the operation of the system. The glycol line going to the lagoon leaks and has caused freeze ups, the tribe has been keeping the system operational by having the heat tape on at all times. There are also issues with the washers and dryers, two washers are not operating and one dryer is not operating because the lock mechanism to collect tokes has been broken. The machines work but the decision was made to take them off line since the tribe cannot collect the revenue.