Quarterly Report: 2010, January - March (Q3), Oscarville

Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Oscarville Traditional Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Treated well water is hauled from the washeteria. A few homes have individual systems that collect and use rainwater. About one-fourth of homes have running water to the kitchen, but no homes have complete plumbing. The school has its own well and sewage lagoon. Honeybuckets are disposed of by residents in the sewage lagoon. An electrical transmission line from Bethel supplies power. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Bethel RUBA staff traveled to Oscarville in November to complete a RUBA management assessment. The assessment is the first step in gaining funding for planning and constructing sanitation services. Upon arrival in the community, RUBA worked with administration and financial staff of the Oscarville Traditional Council. Currently the Oscarville Traditional Council does not provide any utility services. The administration and finance staff are hired by Alaska Village Council presidents (AVCP) and are paid by them. The employees are covered under the AVCP worker's compensation insurance and follow the AVCP personnel policies. A water treatment plant was built in the early 1980's but was closed tin 2007. A water/wastewater feasibility study was funded and completed by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The assessment was completed using information gathered from management practices within the community. It is difficult to assess management where no direct utility services are currently provided. Some indicators do no not apply easily transfer to fit the criteria required. Oscarville Traditional Council is fortunate to have the support of AVCP. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Provide assistance if requested and monitor the essentials noted as deficient.
Essential Indicators:
7 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
13 of 27
Total Score:
20 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.
Yes Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No 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.
Yes YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
Yes YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The OTC does not have any type of utility services so the budget does not include a utility department. There are no outstaniding utility electric bills nor fuel needs or operating expenses. OTC had compacted with AVCP and the Tribal Priority Allocation FY09 budget. AVCP related finance reports through September 2009 were provided. Budget based finance reports are given quarterly to AVCP and OTC. Separate FY09 and FY10 State Community Revenue Sharing budgets were completed and adopted and on file. The FY09 budgeted items have no recorded expenditures to date. At administrative and finance staff were hired in June 2009 and paid directly from AVCP. The washeteria/water treatment plant closed in 2007. The administrator provides oral reports during OTC meetings and the report is recorded in the minutes.

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
No 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.
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
OTC accounting is processed using QuickBooks Pro. There are no collections or any other policies dealing with utility services because none of these services were charged or billed previously. The OTC currently does not provide any type of utility services. OTC uses the AVCP purchasing system.

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
Oscarville Tribal Council is noted in the November-December 2009 Lien Watch report for Alaska Employment Security Tax issues.

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.
Yes 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
Because all OTC staff were hired and are paid by AVCP, the OTC staff are insured through the AVCP insurance coverage. The probationary period begins at the time of employment and is effective for ninety calendar days. The OTC uses AVCP personnel policies.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
No 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.
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.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The washeteria/water plant was closed in 2007 and OTC does not operate any type of utility service at this time. There are no policies related to utility services now or in the past. OTC was inactive from 2006 to May 2009. The administrative and finance staff were hired by AVCP in June 2009 and received AVCP training. The administrator needs to attend a RUBA utility management training class and the bookkeeper needs additional training in accounting and QuickBooks Pro. There is no utility operator at this time, however previously the washeteria/wastewater treatment plant had certified operators.

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
OTC recently sent two people for water opeartor training to become certified. Both people failed the test. OTC is planning to send in a couple more to the same training/certification program. Currently there is no water treatment plant or utility service provided.