Navajo Council Budget Committee: Controller’s CARES money; Status of 2022 Budget, includes $200,000 for Washington, DC, Office, 10 am, 9.21.21

Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans, the Budget & Finance Committee is scheduled to hear an Audit of the CARES dollars allocated to the Navajo Nation Office of the Auditor General, during its scheduled 10 a.m. meeting today, Tuesday, 9.21.21, that can be attended via teleconference & Hopefully via Livestream.

I checked the Navajo Nation Council’s Facebook page for meetings yesterday and today. There wasn’t the usual FB postings of yesterday’s meetings of the Law & Order; Health & Human Services, and Resources & Development Committees. There also was no FB posting of LIve-Stream Links so we, the Dine’, could choose how to attend the Budget & Finance Committee meeting, which would be via teleconference or live-stream.

I wonder if the Council is AFRAID of What their Dine’ People will be saying to them in the Live-Stream Comment Section, especially since there was only Speaker Seth Damon and Council Delegates Paul Begay and Otto Tso of the 24-member Council to Welcome the more than 300 participants in the Diné Sáanii for Justice March from the Navajo Nation Museum to the Navajo Nation Council chambers Friday, 9.17.21.

The Justice March focused on Requesting Navajo President Nez to Line-Item Veto $200,000 from the 2022 office renovation budget of the the Navajo Nation Washington, D.C., Office, and instead Use the Office Renovation funds to create a position in the Navajo Nation Office of the Prosecutor to Create a Plan to Track Cases involving Violence Against Dine’ and to Track those Cases of Violence reported to the Navajo Nation police and those Cases that are forwarded to the federal government for federal prosecution, and those that are not forwarded.

Tribal Cases that are forwarded to the federal government would also be Tracked to find out if those cases are prosecuted, or not prosecuted.

Council Delegates Eugenia Charles-Newton and Amber Kanazbah Crotty were at the head of the Diné Sáanii for Justice March.

nez&lizer Never Spoke to the Marchers, who were at the Council chambers until late in the afternoon Friday, 9.17.21, and they have not issues a Press Release regarding the Request from the Diné Sáanii for Justice March participants, who were all ages.

The B&F is also scheduled to hear from Jeannine Jones, Internal Auditor, Navajo Nation Office of the Controller, on CARES funds allocated by the Council & Approved by nez&lizer for the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller, when it was under Controller Pearline Kirk, whom the Council removed for “displeasing” them, which nez&lizer supported.

I wonder Why the Budget & Finance Committee, which has oversight over the controller’s office, is Only hearing about how a Portion of the Navajo government’s $714 Million in CARES relief aid was spent by One Entity of the Navajo government, the controller’s office. SMH!

What I mean is I’ve emailed nez&lizer for a Copy of their Comprehensive Written Report regarding How the Council and nez&lizer spent the $714 Million in CARES Relief Aid that Congress approved.

Congress also mandated a Written Report from Tribes on how Tribes spent their Share of CARES dollars. Tribes were mandated to Submit their Written Report to the U.S. Treasury by May 2021 AND since, a Written Report on the Navajo government’s CARES expenditure of $714M in CARES money was submitted by Acting Controller Elizabeth Begay to the US Treasury, why not ELCTRONICALLY POST the Written Report on the $714M on the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller Website, and the websites and Facebook pages of the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, and the Navajo Nation Council.

Question Budget & Finance Committee: Why Not hear from Acting Controller Elizabeth Begay on her Written Report on How the Council & nez&lizer spent the $714M in CARES relief aid for the Dine’, which would naturally include CARES money allocated by the Council & approved by nez&lizer to the controller’s office under Kirk.

And I’m sure that Controller Begay’s report will include What Happened to the more than $1 million in CARES money that the Tolani Lake Enterprise did not spend by the Council’s December 2020 deadline and did not return for deposit into the Navajo Nation Hardship Assistance Program.

I mean, if Acting Controller Elizabeth Begay is attempting to Hold Kirk Accountable for her share of CARES dollars as Controller, then Liz MUST PUBLICLY HOLD Tolani Lake Enterprise Accountable…AND nez&lizer and the Council on How They spent the $714M in CARES money for EMERGENCY RELIEF AID for Dine’ babies, children, students, elders/grandparents, parents, domestic violence shelters, PPEs, funeral expense assistance, emergency medical transportation, support for individuals and families in COVID isolation or quarantine, etc, etc,…

May Peace Prevail on Mother Earth!

It is now 10:43 am, 9.21.21, and the Navajo Council Budget & Finance Committee is starting their debate on Legislation Legislation No. 0161-21: An Action Relating to Resources and Development and Budget and Finance Committees; Accepting the Auditor General’s Follow-up review of the Oljato Chapter’s Corrective Action Plan implementation, and imposing sanctions upon the Oljato Chapter for failure to implement the Corrective Action Plan. Sponsored by Herman M. Daniels, Jr., Council Delegate

It is now 11:15 am, 9.21.21. Resources & Development Committee Vice Chairman Herman Daniels and Oljato Chapter officials informed the Council’s Budget & Finance Committee that they should not be Penalized for the July 2019 audit findings by the Navajo Nation Office of the Auditor General because the audit findings occurred during the administration of the former Oljato Chapter officials.
The tribal auditor informed the Budget & Finance that the former Oljato chapter officials developed 16 corrective actions to address the two audit findings, but the officials only implemented 14 of the 16 corrective actions.
And Surprise, Surprise, the Resources & Development Committee supported their Vice Chairman’s recommendation and recommended that the Budget & Finance Committee not Penalize the current Oljato Chapter officials.
The penalty under Navajo law for Chapters that are not resolving audit findings developed by chapter officials and approved by the Budget & Finance, is for the tribal controller to immediately withhold 10% of the chapter’s budget and 20% of the salaries of chapter officials and hold in an escrow account until all Corrective Actions are implemented, which is when budget funds and salaries will be released.

It is now 11:30 am, 9.21.21. The Navajo Nation Office fo the Auditor General informed the Budget & Finance that they have some concerns with the Resources & Development Committee’s Recommendation Not to Sanction the Oljato and Oljato Chapter officials.
The auditors Informed the B&F legislative advisor that there are Three Options/Recommendations: One Option is for the B&F to Approve the Recommendations of the Navajo Nation Office of the Auditor General to Sanction the Oljato Chapter and Oljato Chapter officials. The Second Option is to Reject recommendations of Auditors.
And if the B&F Rejects the Auditors’ Recommendations to Sanction Oljato and Oljato chapter officials, then the Audit is Closed, the auditors reported.
The Auditors are also Recommending that Navajo law be amended to remove the Auditor General’s Office as the tribal entity that recommends Sanctions against Chapters and Chapter officials because Council delegates & Council committees do not want to Sanction Chapters with Outstanding Audit Findings.
Budget & Finance Committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty questioned why Chapter Officials are Sanctioned for Administrative Chapter Decisions. The auditors replied that if chapter administrative staff are sanctioned that they would probably leave & then services would not be delivered to community members.
Auditors emphasized that it is important that chapter officials continue to be part of Audit Corrective Action Plans, which are developed by chapter officials and employees and requires approval by registered chapter voters.

It is now 12:30 pm, 9.21.21. Navajo govt auditors urging Budget & Finance not to Table Legislation 0161-21, which is a FollowUp of a 2019 Navajo Nation Audit of Oljato Chapter, and Recommends Sanctions against the Oljato Chapter and Oljato Chapter Officials for Not Implementing 14 of 16 Corrective Actions to address Two Audit Findings, involving Travel Abuse.
Auditor recommended B&F Approve 0161-21 which gives “Clear” guidance to the Auditor General regarding How to Address Audit Findings and Corrective Action Plan.
B&F Vice Chairman Raymond Smith Jr. made the Motion to Table 0161-21 for Six Months.
VOTE on TABLING 0161021 for Six Months:
Three Green Votes by B&F members Elmer Begay and Jimmy Yellowhair, and B&F Vice Chairman Raymond Smith.
Two Red Votes from B&F members Amber Kanazbah Crotty and Nathaniel Brown.

It is now 12:31, 9.21.21, and the B&F has adjourned. But before Adjourning, the Budget & Finance Committee voted 5 in favor, Zero Opposed to Move All their Reports to the B&F Oct. 5 meeting. And then the B&F immediately Votes to Adjourn.
The following Reports were Moved to B&F Oct. 5:
a. Gaming Distribution Funds for Chapter Utilities – presented by Pearl Yellowman, Director, Division of Community Development and others; with Hon. Rick Nez, Chairman, Resources and Development Committee
b. Fiscal 2022 Budget update – presented by Dominic Beyal, Director, Office of Management and Budget
c. Report on Cares Act Expenditure allocated to Office of the Controller – presented by Jeannine Jones, Internal Auditor, Office of the Controller
The B&F will now be traveling to the Fire Rock Casino for a Retirement Luncheon for Resources & Development Committee Legislative Advisor Shammie Begay. Begay has been a Long-Time employee of the Navajo Nation Legislative Services.
B&F legislative staff thanked B&F committee members for Adjourning so they could attending Retirement Luncheon for Shammie Begay today, 9.21.21.

PROPOSED AGENDA OF THE BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE OF THE NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL, Sept. 21, 2021, Regular Meeting, 10 a.m.
Via Teleconference: 669 900-6833; Zoom meeting ID: 232 628 2566; Passcode: 86515

Presiding: Jamie Henio, Chairperson
Raymond Smith, Jr., Vice Chairperson
Place: Via Zoom Telecommunications, Window Rock, Navajo Nation
Members Present:
_ Elmer P. Begay _ Jamie Henio
Nathaniel Brown _ Raymond Smith, Jr.
Amber K. Crotty _ _ Jimmy Yellowhair

  1. Call the Meeting to Order; the Roll Call; the Invocation;
  2. Recognize Guests and Visiting Officials
  3. Review and Adopt the Agenda
    M: S: Vote: Yeas: Nays
  4. Review and Adopt the Journal: none
  5. Receive Reports:
    a. Gaming Distribution Funds for Chapter Utilities – presented by Pearl Yellowman, Director, Division of Community Development and others; with Hon. Rick Nez, Chairman, Resources and Development Committee
    M: S: Vote: Yeas: Nays
    b. FY22 Budget update – presented by Dominic Beyal, Director, Office of Management and Budget
    M: S: Vote: Yeas: Nays
    c. Report on Cares Act Expenditure allocated to Office of the Controller – presented by Jeannine Jones, Internal Auditor, Office of the Controller
    M: S: Vote: Yeas: Nays
  6. Old Business: none
  7. New Business:
    a. Legislation No. 0161-20: An Action Relating to Resources and Development and Budget and Finance Committees; Accepting the Auditor General’s Follow-up review of the Oljato Chapter’s Corrective Action Plan implementation, and imposing sanctions upon the Oljato Chapter for failure to implement the Corrective Action Plan. Sponsored by Herman M. Daniels, Jr., Council Delegate
    M: S: Vote: Yeas: Nays
  8. Close of the Session; Written Announcements; Adjournment
    M: S: Vote: Yeas: Nays
    Next Regular Budget & Finance Committee Meeting: October 5, 2021
    THIS AGENDA IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. The public is advised that the Navajo Nation Council Agenda and the Agendas of the Standing Committees are not final until adopted by a majority vote of the Navajo Nation Council or the Standing Committee at a Navajo Nation Council or a Standing Committee meeting pursuant to 2 N.N.C. §§163 and 183, Navajo Nation Council Rule of Order

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