RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Tuntutuliak


Community:

Tuntutuliak

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Ken Berlin

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Bethel

Agreement Date:

Region:

Lower Kuskokwim

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

Traditional Council

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

3/18/2009

Population:

399

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

11/22/2013


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 sewer 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 sewer lagoon and is in the process of upgrading their treatment plant. Tuntutuliak Community Services Association operates the local electrical services.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

RUBA staff traveled to Tuntutuliak on October 14-16, 2013 and conducted a RUBA assessment, the report was finaled on November 20, 2013. The Tuntutuliak Traditional Council does not have an overall CY2013 budget nor any finance reports. The utility has adequate fuel supply to last until next spring barge delivery. The utility has a credit on their electric bill for September 2013. The utility has a water wasterwater policy with a collection policy but it is not enforced. Utility customers are not being billed but get serviced on a prepay basis. The IRS confirmed compliance on October 29, 2013 and the State DOL/ESC confirmed compliance to June 2013. The utility is covered by Alaska National Insurance Company from January 15, 2013 to January 15, 2014. Tuntutuliak Traditional Council hired a new administrator on June 3, 2013 and she needs more training on the operation and maintenance of the utility. The bookkeeper was hired in September 2012 but she needs more training in QuickBooks. The utility operators position is currently vacant and a job opening has been posted.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

A realistic budget continues to be non-existent for this organization, also no finance reports. The finance report generated from QuickBooks was not accurate due to mistakes inputting data and 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 tribal 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. The manager does oral reports to the council, staff recommended written reports.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

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 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.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.

Yes

The utility is current on filing tax reports.

Yes

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.

Comment:

The IRS confirmed compliance on October 29, 2013 and the State DOL/ESC confirmed compliance to June 2013. The utility uses QuickBooks to do their payroll and file their IRS and State DOL quarterly reports and do deposits. The council has three active EIN numbers, it was recommended to close two and use only one EIN.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The utility is covered by Alaska National Insurance Company from January 15, 2013 to January 15, 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.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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.

No

The utility has an adequately trained manager.

No

The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.

No

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:

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.

Comment:

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. A new sample water and wastewater utility ordinance was sent in September 2013 but has not been adopted yet. The utility board needs to give more support to the manager when it comes to adopting and enforcing policy. The council has an organizational chart in place and the policy making board meets as required and complies with the Open Meeting Act.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

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.

Comment:

The utility operators position is currently vacant and a job opening has been posted. The substitute operator is covering the position now but he is not certified. The water treatment plant is on the SNC list for July 2013. The file located in the Bethel regional office does not contain a copy of the last CCR. The last CCR was not located in the tribal council offices.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA assessment completed November 20, 2013. RUBA staff to develop a workplan and training for the utility manager and bookeeper.