Tribal Government & News

Tribe working toward performance-based outcomes

03.13.2014 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Tribal employees

The genesis was the Tribe's Strategic Plan finalized in 2010.

Implementation of the broadly defined strategies in the plan is slated for an interim end point in 2015. The strategies are focused on working toward high level Tribal Council policy priorities for sovereignty and self-sufficiency, tradition and culture, healthy individuals, families and communities, community and involvement, and resources.

The Executive Office, headed by General Manager Mark Johnston, at the request of Tribal Council is responsible to apply new performance-based outcomes to Land and Culture, Social Services, Engineering, Natural Resources, Human Resources, Education, Member Services, Planning and Grants, Health and Wellness and the Grand Ronde Police Department.

Johnston and his team in the Executive Office are working to establish these measures alongside the departments that report directly to Tribal Council - Tribal Attorney, Finance, Public Affairs, Economic Development and Audit.

It is "about the process to get to these outcomes," said Assistant General Manager Chris Leno. "In the past we have made attempts, but have found it difficult to find the right system to tie oversight and services to performance-based measurements."

The changes in performance evaluations came "as we grew in complexity and worked to build a community," he said. "It required a different structure."

A list of Executive Office goals and accomplishments tied to the 2010 Strategic Plan came out in 2013. The remaining departments reported to Tribal Council in early March. Departments are now tasked with developing performance-based measures as developed through their individual government responsibilities.

Following is a partial list of targets departments are asked to reach on the way to creating outcome-based budgeting across Tribal departments.

For sovereignty and self-sufficiency, Tribal departments were directed by the Strategic Plan to provide services that assert the Tribe's ceded lands rights, improve relationships with other jurisdictions, develop infrastructure and resources that exercise sovereignty, increase self-sufficiency and help to improve quality of life and the standard of living for Tribal members.

For Housing Authority benefits for members, the department is directed to provide analytical data about the number of Tribal members who are served by the program as an example of the Tribe exercising its sovereignty to develop housing assistance that will take care of its people.

The Health and Wellness Department and others were asked to promote healthy lifestyles and educate members on healthy balances.

For community and involvement, all departments were tasked with keeping open communication between Tribal government and Tribal members.

"Once we asked our managers to report on their outcomes tied to the Strategic Plan goals and strategies, it became clear that we have great staff doing great work and that every single department was contributing to outreach and communication with the community," said Leno.

For community and involvement outcomes, departments continued to work toward the policy goal of developing a Tribal center in Grand Ronde. Other construction and development projects, including progress on the Women's Transition House, the plankhouse and other remodeling projects in the Tribal community have come from Strategic Plan goals.

In addition, Engineering, Public Works and Facilities were to fund and implement the Tribal transportation program and maintain and implement improvements to the Tribal wastewater infrastructure.

For tradition and culture goals, departments were asked to preserve and protect Tribal artifacts and sacred sites, and showcase Tribal culture, which included managing construction of many capital projects.

For the healthy individuals, families and community goals, the Housing Authority was asked to assist the Land and Culture and Social Services departments in revitalizing the community garden, and maintaining and improving the community food bank and Clothes Closet. Housing also was asked to lead development of new housing projects.

For resources, departments were tasked with developing resources for Tribal economic vitality. Diversifying and maintaining environmental stewardship and the use of green practices were part of that goal.

To promote community and involvement from Tribal members, the Strategic Plan asked many departments to encourage greater involvement from members living away from Grand Ronde and maintain regular and open communications between Tribal government and members.

Human Resources and other departments' goals included education and training programs for membership self-sufficiency to help them participate in the Tribe's future.

"The Tribe made a major investment in providing employment opportunities for Tribal members when we developed, and the council approved, the new Tribal Employment Rights Office," said Leno.

Human Resources is also responsible to use the Human Resources webpage for member outreach and to post job openings, including for Grand Ronde Station and Shasta Administrative Services.

Many departments will provide support for Tribal Council in local, state and national consultations.

Implementation is the last phase of the Tribe's Strategic Plan. The process of outcome-based budgeting and work planning will continue in 2014 and will be fully implemented and integrated in the 2015 budget cycle.