Business

ON Gaming Commission auditors recognized for best audit year in commission’s history

Photo caption: Osage Nation Gaming Commission employees pose for a photo at the 2018 opening of the Tulsa Osage Casino Hotel. From left: Bates Shaw, Michael Ross Mashunkashey, Crystal Anderson, Lori Cochrane, Cory Spotted Bear and Department Manager Jennifer Brumley. Courtesy photo/ON Gaming Commission

The Osage Nation Gaming Commission recognized and congratulated its Auditing Department for having the best audit year in the history of the commission.

At the Jan. 13 Gaming Commission Board meeting, Executive Director Elizabeth Hembree informed the three board members of the milestone for the department, which is charged with auditing duties to provide assurance that the Nation’s seven Osage Casinos operate in compliance with the National Indian Gaming Commission regulations and the Oklahoma State Gaming Compact. The best audit year recognition is for the Nation’s 2020 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, Hembree said.

“The Osage Nation Gaming Commission plays a vital role in the daily regulation of the Osage Casinos operations,” Hembree said. “The ONGC auditors perform approximately 265 audits that are required by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). The NIGC provides extensive checklists that must be completed and requires compliance testing of all work through unannounced observations, written inquiries of casino personnel, and examinations of all casino documentation and internal controls.”

Hembree added: “The Compact requires the selection of an external audit firm that must determine reliance on the ONGC Auditors and have proof that they are performing all compliance functions. This is done by re-performance of their audit work. ONGC Auditors are highly respected by the NIGC and all external auditors with which they have worked. The experience, integrity and work ethic with which the ONGC Auditors perform their duties has led to this exceptional audit year. And all of this (while) working through the (COVID-19) pandemic.”

The ONGC Auditing Department staff are: Jennifer Brumley, Certified Fraud Examiner, department manager; Lori Cochrane, CFE, Senior Auditor; and Auditors Crystal Anderson, CFE, Cory Spotted Bear, Bates Shaw, and Michael Ross Mashunkashey.

In a collective statement, the Gaming Commission Board said: “We definitely have the ‘A’ team!” Current board members are Larraine Wilcox (chair), Gary Weyl and Tammy Baldauff.

Of the department’s milestone, Brumley said: “I’m very humbled and proud of the team for working through this pandemic and doing whatever it took to ensure the audits were completed on time. We expect our casinos to maintain a highly compliant environment, ensuring the Osage Nation Gaming Enterprise and the Osage Nation that they are receiving the most revenue possible. Due to the massive amount of regulations, policies, and paperwork required, this job takes a full three years to learn thoroughly. Along with the required NIGC checklists, we also review all new casino policies, Marketing Promotions, Anti-Money Laundering Title 31 daily documentation, etc. The years have passed now and we have an educated and robust department that continues to be confident in their jobs. We also have three with the designation of Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), along with Director Hembree. As the casinos continue to grow, we will be with them along the way and look forward to the future of Osage Casinos.”