Published January 28, 2016
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA — With 18 votes in favor, one against and five not voting, Jim R. Parris was confirmed today by the 23rd Navajo Nation Council as the new Controller of the Navajo Nation.
Parris, a tribal member of the Osage and Cherokee Nations, was appointed as Controller by President Russell Begaye and Vice President Nez on Nov. 30, 2015. Parris has over 35 years of experience in accounting, auditing and management in tribal, federal and private sectors across the U.S.
Parris said he is excited to work with the Navajo Nation and looks forward to developing an action plan to present to the Office of the President and Vice President (OPVP) and the Navajo Nation Council to try and get support for making some of the changes needed.
“I’ll be doing a workload analysis and coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget to improve contract monitoring to prevent reversions and the loss of funds to the Nation. I’d also like to use the spending that we currently have and do a better job of working more efficiently with the programs to utilize their resources in a more effective manner for the Nation.”
The new Controller said he sees opportunities to increase revenue for the Nation by revising the investment portfolio and also monitoring the Nation’s investments. He said he will evaluate the Nation’s investment managers to assess their performance and determine whether the Nation needs to change some of the managers that are paid substantial fees.
“We need to look at our investment consultants and work in closer coordination with them,” he said.
Parris said he would like to consider short-term investments and whether the Nation should explore alternatives with short term investments wherein previously they haven’t been aggressive in investing short-term funds.
“I want to do a better job of monitoring these investments and whatever I need to do to look at alternatives that may be able to get a better rate of return.”
President Begaye said he welcomes the vision and experience Controller Parris will bring to the Navajo Nation.
“We know his experience and knowledge is vital in overseeing and protecting the Navajo Nation’s finances and multi-billion dollar assets and in helping build the portfolio of the Nation.”
Vice President Jonathan Nez joined Parrish during the report before the 23rd Navajo Nation Council.
“On behalf of President Begaye and I, we extend thanks to our colleagues on the Navajo Nation Council for passing the Navajo Nation Veterans Act,” Vice President Nez said. “Once again, we ask for your unanimous support of Jim Parris as Navajo Nation Controller.
We selected him because of his strong background as a CPA and we have every confidence that he will restore our financial structure back in order, he added.
“This confirmation of Mr. Parris will increase the financial viability of our tribe and foster confidence from outside entities to invest in the Navajo Nation,” Vice President Nez said.
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