The Navajo general fund may hold as little as $15 million - far below the $55 million level mandated by the Tribal Code and the $98 million it contained in 1986, Controller Bobby White says.
White said Tuesday the tribe had hired Peat, Marwick, Main and Sloan of Albuquerque for an audit.White, fired five months ago for criticizing expenditures by Chairman Peter MacDonald, was rehired in late March after the Tribal Council named Leonard Haskie as interim chairman.
"The management of the tribe's budget by the MacDonald administration was not good, and this is evident in the fact that many programs do not have enough funds to finish the fiscal year," said Duane Beyal, Haskie's press secretary.
Among the programs with budget shortfalls are the Tax Commission, the Navajo-Hopi Land Development Office, the Division of Resources and the Division of Economic Development, he said.
Beyal said many expenditures over the past two years did not follow procedures, and only a few people handled the paperwork. The Budget and Finance Committee often approved expenditures without informing the council, he said.
"This resulted in a virtual mystery about who, what, where, when, why and how tribal funds were used."
White said his office was faced with claims for payment without having paperwork to prove services were provided.