Tribe consolidates Internal Audit, seeks associate internal auditor trainee 

Jeremy Wade Shockley | SU Drum archive

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe recently consolidated its internal audit function. Prior to the consolidation, both the Permanent Fund and Growth Fund had their own internal audit departments. Under the reorganization, the consolidated Internal Audit Dept. reports directly to Tribal Council and works closely with each of the tribal divisions, including the Permanent Fund, Growth Fund, Southern Ute Shared Services, and Sky Ute Resort Casino. 

The realignment of the internal audit function will assist Tribal Council, as the governing body of the Tribe, with ensuring accountability across the organization and promoting good government for the membership. “The Internal Audit Department and the tasks they are required to perform are vital to the checks and balances system which aims to create transparency and efficiency for the tribal membership and the organization as a whole,” said Chairman Melvin J. Baker.

The Internal Audit Department performs audit, assurance, advisory, and non-audit services. Tribal Council approves these audit engagements each year as part of an audit plan.

Carolyne Washington, Southern Ute tribal member and auditor within the department, said, “I believe that this Department is an essential component for our government and tribal entities.” 

Audit and assurance activities generally include the examination of records and other evidence for the purpose of providing an assessment of a program’s adherence to operating policies. Auditors also review management and control processes to ensure appropriate design and operation. 

Advisory and non-audit services include activities such as assisting, facilitating, or performing agreed-upon activities with process owners in order to achieve organizational objectives, or to improve efficiencies and effectiveness. 

Internal auditors carefully document results in a written report that is presented directly to the Tribal Council. Each audit report includes a description of the work performed plus specific findings and recommendations. After the completion of each audit, the department performs a follow-up to verify whether recommendations to address each finding have been implemented.

The department is currently seeking a Southern Ute tribal member to become an Associate Internal Auditor Trainee. The trainee will learn how to perform beginning level professional internal auditing procedures. The position is currently being advertised.

Because of the magnitude of these responsibilities, employees of the department adhere to a stringent code of ethics by incorporating independence, objectivity, integrity, and confidentiality within each audit activity performed.

In addition, auditors in the department must adhere to the professional standards of the Institute of Internal Auditors, an international organization. The responsibilities of an internal auditor include maintaining ethical behavior and transparency, evaluating practices, assessing operational results, ensuring accuracy, reviewing policies and procedures, and when appropriate, investigating whistle-blower allegations.

Tribal members are encouraged to apply for the Associate Internal Auditor Trainee position. For further information regarding the position, please contact the Director of the Internal Audit Department, Brian M. Bex at 970-563-0100.

Staff Report by the Internal Audit Department

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