Friday, April 04, 2008

Feds to audit Native Bands

After the Liberals proposed plans to audit First Nations Reserves, Conservatives took power and tried to introduce similar legislation. The opposition weeded that out of the Accountability Act, so the federal government has taken a new tack. They are reintroducing such measures within Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

To further strengthen accountability measures, INAC recently notified funding recipients that it intends to amend 2008-2009 funding agreements to include an audit clause. The addition of this clause will ensure INAC’s right to conduct audits of funding agreements to make certain that contributions are used for intended programs and services. Applied on a risk basis, these will complement the existing requirement that First Nations provide to both the department and their community members annual consolidated financial statements that have been audited by independent and accredited professionals.

Such moves were opposed by the Assembly of First Nations but welcomed by groups like the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. In January they called for just such measures in a 293-page report. "Where Does the Money Go?" examined 6,199 federal grants and contributions in fiscal 2006-07. Even though 30 federal departments and agencies dished out $5.6 billion to 2,054 recipients, disclosure was so poor, it was difficult to tell if the money was spent well or not.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation proved how true this was through Freedom of Information requests for three native bands in Saskatchewan: the
Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, the Onion Lake Cree Nation, and the Lac La Ronge First Nation. (Click the names to see the FOI results.) All three were multi-million dollar winners in the Top 100 Tory Handouts list. But unlike the only other Saskatchewan entry, the RCMP Heritage Museum, documentation to account for those dollars was scant. The crucial pages were censored, leaving pages of regulations and guidelines, and a few skeletal budget numbers.

For example, the request for Onion Lake, a band of 4600, showed precious little, except for summer work proposals for teenagers, which included subsidies for six students to spend twelve weeks to develop a geneological pamphlet and a history book with pictures. For the most part, it was impossible to tell if the money was put to good use.

And THAT is precisely the problem.

1 comment:

Greg said...

This is great, audit the bands more, some real questions that should be considered is this,"who is doing the audits, who is getting paid, who is going to benefit or rather in this instance, profit in the end?" Remember allocation of any resources or funding concerning Aboriginal anything is like slush money to various thiefs whoops I mean Chiefs, suits ties and one eyed guys, every dollar that gets allocated costs $20.00, count em twenty dollars to administer! When allocations are announced there is a virtual feeding frenzy! From multi-national accounting and law firms to one person operations it is a big feast. If the late show host David Letterman had on his nightly Top Ten List,

"Top 10 Things First Nations People Don't Say!"

10) We have too much land lets get rid of some more!
9) We have too much money lets give some to Chief and Council
8) Hey lets follow those cops!
7) Bingo? What the **** is that?
Anyways....
6) It doesn't bother me that the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations non-Native blonde lawyer common law wife personally billed over 3 million dollars for her work on the Residential School file, am glad they are with us we would be lost without them!
5) Keep up the good work, my grandfathers said when you first got here you could not fish, hunt and survive, some of you even got scurvy and died, in fact you did not bring any woman with you, now look at you, you guys run the place! You have come along way don't ever give up! Don't ever give up!
4) When we have the self-government we will be just like Ottawa, look how good they do it! Its no wonder why they fund themselves so much for us to have a chance at self government! Just look at their example!
3) O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
2) Lets not volunteer for duty in the Canadian Armed Forces!

and here it is...

1) We need more reports, studies, audits even Royal Commissions on Aboriginal people, oh and more dreamcatchers!

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