Sipekne'katik Audit Recommendations Feb 25 2014

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News Release regarding forensic audit recommendations


<ul><li><p>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETuesday, February 25, 2014</p><p>Forensic investigators present more than 70 recommendations to help improve governance and financial transparency for Shubenacadie Band Chief and Council</p><p>(Indian Brook First Nation, N.S.) - Sipeknekatik (Shubenacadie Band) Chief and Council have received more than 70 recommendations made by forensic investigators to help improve band governance, day-to-day administration and financial transparency. The findings of the forensic investigation have also been turned over to the RCMP. </p><p>Chief and Council received copies of a presentation prepared by Pink Larkin, the law firm it hired to conduct the forensic investigation, and MNP during a duly convened meeting on February 20, 2014. The presentation contained a total of 71 recommendations for improvement in the areas of governance, operations, housing, gaming, tobacco sales and fisheries.</p><p>The presentation revealed that "financial accountability was not generally present so as to ensure Council met its fiduciary duty to the Band members and that practices were deficient in the tobacco sales department, fisheries, housing, gaming and operations. </p><p>Some of the recommendations include: </p><p> Creating an economic development corporation to oversee band businesses such as gaming and fisheries.</p><p> Live stream band council meetings Posting the agenda and minutes of chief and council meetings Develop and enforce a Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy Revamping the the business practices of the tobacco shop Restructuring the Housing Department Review the Fisheries Department and utilize all fish quota Review VLT operations</p><p>Two Band Council motions were also passed during the Feb. 20 band council meeting. The first motion instructed the forensic investigators with Pink Larkin and MNP to turn over the detailed forensic audit to the RCMP to determine if criminal wrongdoing occurred. The second motion was to accept the </p></li><li><p>recommendations made by the investigators to be referenced and modelled in the development of band policies."</p><p>A copy of the recommendations made by MNP and Pink Larkin have been posted on the band's website at</p><p>In May 2012, band chief and council passed a motion to commence a forensic investigation into the bands finances when financial irregularities were discovered in a band audit. A community meeting was held in October 2013 to present the findings of the forensic investigation to band members.</p><p>Sipeknekatik (Shubenacadie Band) is the second largest Mi'kmaq band in Nova Scotia with more than 2,500 registered band members. Approximately 1,200 band members live on-reserve in Indian Brook First Nation. Other communities included with the band include Pennel, New Ross, Wallace Hills and Grand Lake. </p><p>-30-</p><p>Contact: Maureen GoogooCommunications CoordinatorShubenacadie BandPhone: (902) 758-2049 ext. 230Email:</p></li></ul>