News Tribal Council

Tribe undertakes policy and procedure revisions

Policies within the Southern Ute Permanent Fund have undergone a series of revisions that will update the operational strategies within the organization and departments. Tribal Council and the Executive Office have come forth with a strategy to review and revise the Permanent Fund’s Personnel Policies and Procedures, while authorizing a policy committee on department-specific processes with Permanent Fund staff.

Among these policies are regulation standards that have been set to meet appropriate guidelines. Policies governing the various departments of the Tribe differ from Tribal employee personnel policies, meaning employed personnel must follow a set of guidelines while representing the Tribe. From time to time policies are revised to meet the needs of the organization and departments.

Approved policies need to remain consistent and fair to all they apply to, stated Tribal Councilman, Melvin J. Baker.

“The policies are the marching orders,” Baker said in an interview. “Those policies can help supervisors control their environment. People can be held accountable if there isn’t corrective action to these policies. It can turn out to be a liability of the Tribe if the policies aren’t utilized properly.”

Baker described the updates to some of these policies, including the procedure for tribal property use, which states employees are not permitted to use tribal vehicles for personal matters.

“We’ve gotten reports of vehicles being parked at Bayfield, different eateries for lunch, examples like that are personal and not business related,” said Baker. “Some policies will differ from others, and some will break. But there are ways of governing workforce.”

In order for policies to become official, they first must go through a legality procedure. They are reviewed by the legal department to ensure that they don’t feature anything insensitive towards the council, tribe, and community. All policies are essential and go towards conduct that reflects the Tribe.

Policies are analyzed to ensure they don’t present any issues under applicable law, according to the Tribe. It is the intent of the Executive Office to update the procedures and make the administration of the Tribe’s functionality more persistent. Once the decision of rules have been set, the Tribal Council and departments within the Permanent Fund are advised about possible issues with other proposed policies.

“All policies must be consistent amongst all supervisors,” Baker concluded. “We must keep things fair. There are [numerous] scenarios, and if someone isn’t doing their part, then the policy states that person can be [terminated] for not performing. Those factors are what protect the supervisor and organization, additionally. It’s about being rational and keeping everyone on the same playing field.”

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