Was unable to provide documentation on payments it between Oct. 1, 2012 and March 31, 2017.
UNITED STATES.- Montana’s Crow Indian Tribe has been unable to account for $14.5 million it received for transportation programs, marking the second time in less than two years the tribe has been faulted for its handling of federal grant money, government investigators disclosed Monday.
The finding from the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General resulted from an audit of a contract that provided federal money to build and maintain highways, bridges and transit facilities on the tribe’s southeastern Montana reservation.
The audit obtained by The Associated Press showed the tribe was unable to provide documentation on payments it made to subcontractors and vendors between Oct. 1, 2012 and March 31, 2017. Investigators could not determine what happened to the money.
They faulted the tribe for having “deficient internal controls” over the money and said its ac- counting system was inadequate to handle federal funds.
“We requested the necessary documentation numerous times during two site visits, and through emails to the finance and legal departments and the chairman of the Tribe,” investigators wrote in Monday’s report. “They all stated that the records have not been located. Therefore, we question the total amount of the agreement’s $14,492,813.”
Most of the money was received by the tribe under the leadership of former Chairman Darrin Old Coyote. Old Coyote lost in the 2016 election and was replaced by current Chairman A.J. Not Afraid Jr in December, 2016.
Old Coyote flatly denied that any federal funding was unaccounted for during his administration and said that all money was properly allocated and documented during his tenure.