The Navajo tribal government has been giving out bonuses to its employees, totaling millions in public funds according to a recent audit.
Over the last five years the Navajo Nation doled out $5.8 million in bonuses. The Navajo Nation Office of the Auditor General found one government employee received a bonus worth more than half his salary. Three workers received between $10,000 and $20,000.
Some were awarded bonuses even after a mediocre performance review. Supervisors gave justifications like “compensated for Navajo Nation’s low wages.” Others said simply “funds were available,” even though none of the bonuses had been budgeted for. The auditors found that many of the bonuses didn’t have supporting documents on file to show the justification.
The audit called the policy for handing out bonuses “vague and permissive,” as it allowed for many bonuses to be given out that were not warranted.