Quarterly Report: 2013, April - June (Q4), Tuluksak

Eli Jacobson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Tuluksak Native Community 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The traditional council operates the washeteria, water treatment plant, container haul system, and electrical services for the community. Only one watering point, with storage capacity of 7,000 gallons, serves the entire community, washeteria, clinic, and the school. Residents haul honey-buckets to 21 bins located sparingly throughout the community.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On May 15, Bethel RUBA staff traveled to Tuluksak to conduct a RUBA assessment for Tuluksak Native Community. RUBA staff met with the president and administrative staff for two days to complete the assessment. Bethel staff explained the RUBA assessment process, and what was needed to gain RUBA compliance. The operator gave Bethel staff a tour of the water treatment plant. The president signed the authorization to request federal tax information. Documentation was gathered from the administrator, utility manager, and bookkeeper. This documentation pertains to the management of the utility concerning RUBA essential and sustainable indicators in the areas of finance, accounting, taxes, personnel, organizational management, and operational management. The tribe has met some of the essential and sustainable indicators; deficiencies are noted in the report below.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to offer assistance to the Tuluksak Native Community with any deficient indicators.
Essential Indicators:
12 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
12 of 27
Total Score:
24 of 54


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
No 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
Tuluksak Native Community has a balanced budget, but there is no evidence of its adoption in the meeting minutes. The washeteria and water plant utility expense exceeds the revenue. Therefore, the utilities are subsidized from the general tribal budget. Monthly financial reports are not prepared. Tuluksak generates its own electricity but does not record power usage of the utility. The tribal administrator said the school supplies and bills the tribe for heating fuel. The school has over a year's supply of heating fuel. The tribe does not have a repair and replacement fund established. Year-to-date revenues and expenditures cannot be determined. Monthly manager's reports are given verbally, but are not recorded in the meeting minutes. The council meets on the second Monday of each month and amendments are adopted as necessary.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
All incoming and outgoing money for Tuluksak Native Community is recorded in manual ledgers. The tribe has an adopted collection policy, but it does not refer to the current utility it operates. The tribe sends out bills monthly for the wastewater removal service. It bills the school for treated water; however, treated water is not billed at the washeteria fill point. An accounts receivable system tracks customers' current monthly charge, previous balance, payments received, and total due. The tribe has a file cabinet that contains folders for all vendors. QuickBooks is used for payroll. All cash is deposited into the bank. The tribe's chart of accounts is in QuickBooks. The tribal bookkeeper reconciles the bank accounts monthly. The tribal administrator approves purchases under five-hundred dollars. Purchases of five-hundred or more have to be approved by the council president.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
On June 3, 2013, the IRS deemed Tuluksak Native Community as not compliant with federal tax filing and deposit requirements. The State Department of Labor communicated that the tribe is not current on their Employment Security Contributions account. Tuluksak Native Community is not in the Lien Watch dated March-April 2013.

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.
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.
No 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
Tuluksak Native Community's workers compensation insurance is through Alaska National Insurance Company. The policy posted in the office expired on September 10, 2012. A personnel policy has been adopted and is in use. The utility has written job descriptions for all positions; examples were provided during the assessment. The utility does not have a written hiring process. Personnel folders are not kept for every employee. The utility has a 90-day probationary period with an evaluation at the end. On-the-job training and additional training opportunities are provided as necessary. Staff are encouraged to pursue further training opportunities.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
No 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.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
Tuluksak Native Community owns the utility and the tribal council is the policy making body; however, utility policy is not enforced. The utility charges a monthly fee of forty dollars and most customers have a balance of more than one-thousand dollars. The tribal administrator was hired November 2012 and performs managerial duties. The tribal administrator supervises the bookkeeper who was hired July 2012. The operator is not on the Alaska Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database and does not have plans to attend training. The ordinances do not provide the tribal staff the authority they need for operation. The organizational structure is informally known, but an organizational chart has not been adopted. The policy making body meets the second Monday of each month, which is open to the public. The tribal administrator posts meeting notices in seven public places five days in advance.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
No 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.
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.
No The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
No 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 utility operator is not working towards necessary certification. The utility does not have a written preventative maintenance plan. The tribal administrator infrequently contacts the operator and does not spot check the facility. The utility does not have a safety manual or hold regular safety meetings. The utility is functioning as intended and no major outages have occurred. The operator does not provide reports to the tribal administrator. A CCR has not been posted. The tribe is on the SNC list dated April 2013. The utility does not have an inventory control, or critical spare parts list.