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

Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
Bethel regional office 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Native Village of Tuntutuliak 
417 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Through a memorandum of agreement with Tuntutuliak Community Services Association, Tuntutuliak Traditional Council operates the washeteria, water treatment plant, flush tank haul system, honeybucket haul and landfill/lagoon site. There is garbage collection services provided. Most of the homes have access to the wastewater pump-out and water delivery services. Fourteen homes still have to be connected to the flush haul system. The connection of the homes to the system is curently on hold. The school has a well and wastewater lagoon and is in the process of upgrading their treatment plant. Tuntutuliak Community Services Association operates the local electrical services.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff received a call from the Tuntutuliak Traditional Council concerning part of the boardwalk constructed by DEC for the water and wastewater system that is encroaching into a private lot. The lot owner is asking the tribe to remove the boardwalk. Staff recommend the tribe contact the AVCP Inc., realty department, since this is a restricted townsite lot to work out a right of way or lease agreement. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Trip into community to follow up on RUBA assessment and training for staff on finances related to the water and wastewater facilities.
Essential Indicators:
16 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
11 of 27
Total Score:
27 of 54


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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
A realistic budget continues to be non-existent for this organization, also there are no finance reports. The finance report generated from QuickBooks was not accurate due to mistakes inputting data and there were no reconciliations. The manual finance report produced did not have any budget figures because the council does not have an overall budget. The electric bill from Tuntutuliak Community Services Association has a credit balance. The Tuntutuliak Traditional Council ordered and received its fuel order for the winter. The utility is not receiving sufficient revenue but is heavily subsidized through the general fund account. Without a budget and budget vs. actual financial report, it is not possible to determine how much the utility is subsidized. The manager does oral reports to the council; RUBA staff recommended written reports.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No 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.
No Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No 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 utility does have a water and wastewater ordinance with a collection policy but is not enforcing it and the ordinance needs to be updated. The customers are not billed for honeybucket haul, but the customers with CoWater wastewater haul systems are serviced on a prepay basis at the rate of $67 per delivery for water and wastewater haul. The washeteria/water treatment plant has four washers but only two work and three dryers with two working. There are two showers but only one works. Both the water and wastewater haul equipment need new tires. The QuickBooks Pro system needs to be updated along with the computer system. Accounting is done with both, QuickBooks and manually. The QuickBooks needs to be set up correctly and reconciled. A survey needs to be done to determine which customers are on the honeybucket and CoWater system.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
Yes The utility is current on filing tax reports.
No The utility is current on making tax deposits.
Yes 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 Tuntutuliak Traditional Council uses QuickBooks to process payroll and make payroll tax deposits. The IRS confirmed noncompliance on January 14, 2014 for unpaid 941 taxes for 2011/06. The State DOL/ESC confirmed compliance on June 25, 2014. Tuntutuliak Traditional Council is not on the March-April 2014 lien watch. The utility uses QuickBooks to do their payroll and file their IRS and State DOL quarterly reports and do deposits. The Tuntutuliak Traditional Council has three active EIN numbers, it was recommended to close two and use only one EIN.

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.
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 utility is covered by Alaska National Insurance Company from September 2013 to September, 2014. The utility has a personnel policy which covers all staffing, performance expectations, computer/network use, compensation, benefits, reimbursement for expenses, employee relations, discipline, and training and development. The utility has a Native Preference hiring policy, but it also has an Equal Opportunity section. The administrative and finance staff are hired by the council and all other employees are hired by the administrator. All applicants for employment must fill out an application before being considered. There is a three months probationary period. Evaluations are completed after the three months probationary period and annually on the date of hire. The utility employees all have personnel folders but are lacking I-9 forms.

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.
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 utility is owned by the Tuntutuliak Traditional Council and is known by the community members. The administrative and finance staff have a high turnover rate. A new administrator was hired in June 2013 and she needs more training on the operation and maintenance of the utility. She has some prior experience in administrative and accounting work. The bookkeeper was hired in September 2012 but she needs more training in QuickBooks. The bookkeeper has about ten months experience working as a bookkeeper using QuickBooks for the Qinaq Corporation store. She also attended Indian Tribal Government payroll tax training. The existing utility ordinance needs to be updated and sample water and wastewater utility ordinance was sent in September 2013, but amendments have not been adopted yet. The utility water operator was hired in April 2014 and is certified. The utility board needs to give more support to the manager when it comes to adopting and enforcing policy. The Tuntutuliak Traditional Council has an organizational chart in place and the policy making board meets as required and complies with the Open Meeting Act.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
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.
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
A utility operator was hired in April 2014 and was certified the same month. The substitute operator is covering the position now but he is not certified. The washeteria/water treatment plant was built in the early 1980's. It was being renovated recently by CRW but work was stopped due to lack of funding. Another grant was obtained by DEC to complete the renovation in November 2013. A preventative maintenance plan, O&M reports, safety manual, inventory control list, and critical spare parts list were not available or not located.