An extra set of eyes will soon be looking over some of the mineral estate’s fiscal documents.
At its Dec. 4 meeting, the Osage Minerals Council approved a resolution from its Production and Development Committee to bring on an independent auditor to review the council’s monthly financial reports.
The move came in part due to discrepancies between the announced headright amount for December and calculations by Councilor Susan Forman based off of Osage Agency Superintendent Robin Phillips’ reports during the quarter. The announced December payment is $2,385 for a full headright, while Forman’s math placed it at closer to $2,500.
“It just drove home the need to resume our monthly auditing of the superintendents reports like we had (former auditor) Mr. (Jim) Swan do,” Forman said. “I’ve asked several times to resume that … and this is not reflective of anyone’s work. We just all have so much on our plates right now that we are not getting it done.”
As per the approved resolution, the independent auditor will be brought on a contract basis, but several of the council members, including Councilor Marsha Harlan, expressed interest in eventually making it a full-time position with additional fiscal oversight duties.
“I’ve been a no vote on spending money so many times, but this is why we’re here: to make sure our estate is being paid out appropriately,” she said.
In other business, the council formally approved its 2021 meeting schedule and will continue to have its regular meetings on the first Friday and third Wednesday in 10 of the 12 months in the new year.
Thanks to the holidays, January and July are the two exceptions. The council’s Friday meetings for those months will be on Jan. 8, 2021, and July 9, 2021.