Quarterly Report: 2012, January - March (Q3), Kipnuk

Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Native Village of Kipnuk 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
A new 210,000 gallon water storage tank is filled from a reservoir on a nearby lake; residents haul treated water from several watering points. Honeybuckets are hauled by the village to a sewage lagoon. Homes are not plumbed. Construction has begun on infrastructure improvements, including a new reservoir pumphouse, a water treatment plant and sewage lagoon. The Village Council collects refuse and maintains the Class III permitted landfil. The Kipnuk School needs additional funds to complete its bio-pure sewage treatment plant and increase storage capacity. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The administrative and finance staff had recent turn overs and new staff were recently hired. New staff need training. The new administrator attended Utility Management Training in finance in March 2012. RUBA staff is scheduled to travel to Kipnuk to train the new administrator onsite in April 2012. Kipnuk does not have a CY 2012 budget or has submitted any finance reports for about a year. The Tribe gets electricity in exchange for office space rent from the Tribal owned electric company. Tribe purchases fuel as needed from local retailer. The IRS release form was not returned. State DOL/ESC confirmed compliance on March 2012. March 8, 2012, RUBA staff requested the following: 1. Calendar year overall budget that includes all revenues sources and expenditures by department for 2012 2. Financial reports that reflect CY 2012 budgets revenues and expenditures with monthly and year to date figures, including meeting minutes where the Council reviewed the finance reports. 3. A copy of most recent electric bills. 4. Fill out IRS release form and send back. 5. Copy of your workers compensation insurance coverage certification. 6. Any training needs for your administrative and finance staff. None of the above requested reports or documents were returned. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Need a balanced 2012 budget and list subsidies by source and amount. Need to attend Utility Management training. Need finance reports to February 2012. Need to hire bookkeeper.
Essential Indicators:
18 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
36 of 53


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.
Yes 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
Kipnuk has no current budget or finance reports. Since the water and sewer system is just being built there are minimal costs to electricity and heating fuel. The utility is subsidized by sales tax and electric utility.

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
Yes 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
The Tribe has a collection policy and billings are send out monthly. Accounting system is with QuickBooks Pro. The cash receipt system is a one book receipt system and it was recommended a change over to the NEBS receipt system.

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.
N/A 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
As stated in the Accounting Systems section, the KTC bookkeeper calculates, tracks, reports and pay payroll tax deposits. On 9/2011 IRS deemed Kipnuk compliant. State DOL/ESC determined compliance on 3/2012. No recorded tax liens.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
Yes The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
Yes 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.
Yes 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
KTC has coverage through Liberty Northwest Insurance Company effective to 12/12, verified by the State division of workers compensation insurance.

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.
No 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
Yes The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The KTC owns and operates the water pump house and sewer haul system. The KTC is the policy making body for the utility. The KTC is active in making policy for the utility. The Tribal Administraor is new and needs training. The utility has adequately trained operators. The main operator is not certified, but is working towards certification and has experience. The back-up operator is not certified, but is working to get certified, he also has experience. The Tribe has adopted a water utility ordinance that gives it the authority to operate, and it covers most of the aspects needed in a utility ordinance. Along with a collection policy, the ordinance includes policies on service area, level of service, customer agreements, the utility's responsibilities, the customers' responsibilities, billing procedures, shut-off procedures, and penalties for violating provisions of the ordinance.

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.
Yes The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
Yes Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
Yes The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
Yes The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The operators are working on achieving the necessary certification to operate the current utility. SNC violations were cleared during this 4th quarter. The KTC Administrator is not aware of any existing inventory control list or spare parts list.