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Press Release

Yolanda OJT training in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Recently, Yolanda Leben, Auditor II from the ONPA received 60-day of on-the-job training with the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), Inspector General (IG) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The training covered a follow up audit on “Improvement needed in the Bureau of Indian Affairs Process of Conducting Background Investigative of Indian Education Employee” done in fiscal year 2004. According to Ms. Leben, the project involved background checks of individuals working at Native American boarding schools.” According to US laws, each individual considered for employment should undergo criminal fingerprint check before being hired at the institution.

The objective of the audit was to determine if employees and staff have had the required background checks processed by Bureau of Indian Education and the FBI prior to obtaining positions at the institution. The audit was necessary to determine that individual employees are free from certain criminal offenses while holding positions that permit contacts with Native American children.

As for Ms. Leben, her team's primary assignment included performing reviews of a statistical sample of employee files. In fact, her team had completed reviewing about 1,200 files which successfully contributed to the completion of the entire audit report. Alongside her was Geraldine Demapan, from CNMI's Public Auditor's Office and two other DOI auditors who flew in from Denver, Colorado to share the exciting two weeks on the reviewing section of the assignment.

According to Ms. Leben, the training was a success. In general terms, it gave her both the privilege and the opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge to carry out her duties effectively. The training has allowed her to understand more about auditing, e.g. background information, the structure, the scope and the results specifically with DOI with respect to education. Not only did it show the importance of education as the big picture but it also showed the small pieces of the puzzle that fit into the big picture, said Ms. Leben. She further added, ‘the seed that we sow today for tomorrow needs to be tended, cared for, and nurtured in order for it to be all that it needs to be, our next generation, which is our hope for tomorrow'. Her statement applies to both the training as it broadens the competency in the field of auditing and the knowledge with respect to education as a critical foundation of a sound future.

The ONPA extends its appreciation to the DOI, Inspector General for assistance and support during the OJT, to the staff who coordinated the training and especially to Yolanda's Supervisor, Lorallee Bennet. Thank you very much.


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