A BORDER Indigenous group says it has already fixed the problems that led the federal government to investigate its financial and administrative management.
Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation received a compliance notice from the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) in December, imposing late January deadlines for improvement.
The issues raised by the compliance notice included:
– an operating deficit of $714,000 in 2014-15 compared to a surplus of $145,000 the previous year,
– lack of adequate management and monitoring of program funds,
– incomplete records,
– more than one member of a family as directors,
– no formal maintenance program in place for the corporation’s housing stock and
– rent arrears totalling $13,785, of which $10,244 was owed by present and former directors when the corporation was examined in September.
“I am concerned that the corporation took no action during the 2014-15 year to ensure that its operating expenses were contained within its operating income,” registrar delegate Peter Armstrong said.
Mungabareena chief executive Michael Cutmore, who started his role a year ago, said the ORIC deadlines for changes had been met.
“To me, the suggestions were justified so I just addressed them, not only me but the board as well and it just strengthens the organisation,” he said. “You just build a framework to make sure the organisation's working at full capacity.”
The Border Mail had been told corporation meetings late last year became violent and police had to be called.
Claims spoke of nepotism, intimidation and complaints to ORIC and the office of Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion.
A spokesman for Mr Scullion said an official in the minister's office alerted ORIC to the concerns raised.
“The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet similarly alerted police,” he said.
Wodonga police could provide no information about any call-outs to the corporation. Mr Cutmore denied there had been any violence or police at any meeting late last year.
“What happened is the AGM flowed through,” he said. “We had a new influx of board members ... which definitely shows that the community are interested as far as the viability of the organisation and the pathway that it's taking.”