Fiscal Department: COVID-19 Update

On behalf of the Fiscal Team which has 28 staff members working very hard through the COVID-19 health crisis. To ensure physical distancing and that family obligations are met, several staff have opted for part time hours while still completing their essential duties for the community, employees, vendors, and other customers. We temporarily laid off 5 staff members and look forward to their return to work after the crisis is over.

As an essential Department, we are actively working with the Executives, Councillors, Human Resources and other Departments to ensure Fiscal deadlines are met. We have also been assisting with the following critically important matters:

• With the gaming operations closed, we are in constant communication with their Finance Departments to understand to what extent the casinos and/or Bingo Halls will be able to transfer funds to the Nation as estimated in the original budgets for Fiscal Year 2020. These transfers support governmental services, programs and direct benefits to the enrolled members. Accordingly, a high priority is the forecasting of general, land revenue and grant funds activities and monitoring of the budgets. With reduced revenues, this information is critical so that the Executives and Council may make informed financial decisions going forward through the coming weeks.

• Working with the Executives, Council, Legal Department, Grant Writing and other Directors on the Coronavirus CARES Act stimulus bill funding opportunities. As funding is awarded, we are able to relieve the general fund of necessary costs related to the pandemic including cleaning supplies, PPE, and other Essential Department’s unanticipated costs that are eligible to be funded by the CARES act funding.

• We have been working with the Executives and Council, HR and our insurance providers on policy items including amendments to the Nation’s health insurance plan to ensure employees medical claims related to COVID-19 are covered and that employees do not have any out of pocket costs.

• For employees temporarily laid off, the Payroll Office has been busy and pleased to be answering their questions regarding unemployment claims, health insurance, voluntary insurance coverages, 401(k) plan, leave time and other payroll and benefit matters.

• Participating in the Task Force to assist with purchasing of PPE and COVID-19 product needs and other Fiscal related matters.
Please do not hesitate to contact our offices should you have a question or if we can be of assistance to you.