Audit shows large bonus payments


Some tribal employees are making out like bandits when it comes to getting bonuses from the tribe, according to a recent audit of the program.

The audit was done by the Office of the Auditor General shows that a lot of tribal employees get a lot in bonuses.

One employee received a bonus that was 52 percent of his annual salary. Three employees received bonuses between $10,000 and $20,000.

And it’s not only the best and brightest of tribal employees who get the bonuses, said the audit. The average Joe often gets a bonus. And there are employees who can count on getting a bonus every year.

And when asked why they gave someone a bonus, some of the answers included “good attendance” and “funds were available.”

While the bonus program has been around for a long time and is not exactly a secret, officials don’t broadcast the fact that some employees are getting bonus while others – just as hardworking and dedicated – do not.

The auditors looked at bonuses the tribe paid employees between 2012 and 2016.They found that 2,694 employees received $5.8 million and that 2,694 is too high since some employees received more than one bonus and, in a few cases, received more than one bonus in one fiscal year.

The tribe has two bonus programs, one of which is based on employee performance and the other on whatever the supervisor wants to base it on.

The first has strict guidelines on who should get the bonus and limits the payment to $1,000. The second has no basic guidelines and the amount the employee can get is unlimited so it’s not surprising that 90 percent of the bonuses that are given annually fall in the second category, according to the audit figures.

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Categories: Politics

About Author

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan has been writing about the Navajo Nation government since 1971 and for the Navajo Times since 1976. He is currently semi-retired and is living in Torrance, California, and continues to report for the Navajo Times.