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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

TRIBAL ORDINANCE NO. 9l-02
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

WHEREAS: Article III, Section 2 and 3 and Article XXI of the Constitution of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head/Aquinnah provide that every tribal member shall have access to administrative, financial or other related information concerning the tribe and,

WHEREAS: It is necessary to provide for an orderly method of requesting and providing this information, and:

WHEREAS: It is necessary to provide additional guidance as to what matters shall not be released

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That information shall be released according to the following provisions:

ARTICLE I - DEFINITIONS

(A) For the purposes of this section...

1. The term “tribal business” shall include any activity in which funds are invested.

2. The term “business record” shall include all financial statements, contracts, or letters that contain information concerning the operation of a tribal business.

3. The term “tribal funds” shall include but is not limited to: money, certificates of deposit, stocks or bonds which are held in the name of or on behalf of the tribe or in the name of any tribal corporation or other governmental subsidiary of the tribe.  Tribal funds shall also include any letter or line of credit which is obtained from a private individual, partnership, corporation, bank or other financial institution.

4. The term “tribal member” means any person who is enrolled as a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head/Aquinnah.

5. The term “tribal program” means any program which is operated for the use or benefit of tribal members.

6. The term "tribal council" shall mean the Tribal Council of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head/ Aquinnah.

7. The term "person" shall include any individual, partnership or corporation.

8. The term "tribe" or any derivation thereof shall include only the Wampanoag Tribal Council of Gay Head/Aquinnah.


ARTICLE II - REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE

(A) A tribal member may review any of the following items from the tribe or from any tribal program or tribal business:

1. Any audit, business record, financial report or monthly expenditure report which has been prepared by the tribe or by any tribal program or tribal business.

2. Progress reports or letters which are submitted to the tribe or by the tribe to any state or federal agency.

3. Any report or letter which has been received by the Tribal Council and which describes the financial condition or the status of any tribal program or tribal business.

4. Any employment contract between the tribe, tribal program or tribal business and any person.

5. Any consulting contract between the tribe, tribal program or tribal business and any consultant or attorney.

ARTICLE III - PROCEDURES FOR DISCLOSURE

(A) All requests to review information must be submitted to the tribal administrator in writing or, in the absence of a tribal administrator, to the tribal chairman.  Requests must specify what information is being sought.

(B) The tribal administrator shall confirm that the person requesting the information is a tribal member.  The tribal administrator shall consult with the program director prior to making a determination on the requested information.  Within five working days the tribal administrator shall issue a written determination on the request.

(C) In reaching his determination the tribal administrator shall favor disclosure.

(D) In the event that the tribal administrator determines that some or all of the requested information should be released the tribal administrator shall direct, in writing, the requests to the appropriate program director with instructions concerning which information is to be released.  Copies of the determination shall be provided to the requesting tribal member.

(E) In the event that the tribal administrator determines that the information should not be released then, within five working days, the tribal administrator shall inform the requesting tribal member in writing that their request is denied and shall state the basis for the denial.

(F) Information may be viewed during regular business hours.  Appointments to view information shall be made with the approval of the program director.  Opportunity to view the requested information shall be made within ten working days of the date that the tribal administrator makes a determination on a request.  Tribal members may not be accompanied by non-tribal members when viewing documents.

(G) In the event that copies of material covered by this ordinance are requested, the first twenty pages of requested material shall be supplied at no cost.  Copies of all additional pages shall be provided at a cost of $.25 per page.  Upon request to the Tribal Council and upon a showing of good cause, the copy fee can be waived in whole or in part.

(H) Copies of requested information shall be provided within fifteen working days of the date that the tribal administrator makes a determination on a request.

ARTICLE IV - EXCEPTIONS

(A) The following records are not subject to release:

1. Personnel or employment records
2. Medical files
3. Any report that is not in final form
4. Trade secrets and commercial or financial information which, if released, would endanger the economic viability of the tribal business
5. Housing files
6. Litigation materials covered by the attorney client privilege

ARTICLE V - APPEALS

(A) If the tribal administrator refuses to make the requested information available or delays supplying the requested information beyond the times provided in this ordinance then the tribal member may appeal to the Tribal Council.

(B) Any appeal to the Tribal Council shall contain a copy of the request, the date made and a copy of the letter in which the request is refused if action has been taken.

(C) The Tribal Council shall, within thirty days review the request and shall provide the tribal member with any opportunity to state why the information should be released.  The Tribal Council may determine in closed session whether the requested information should be released.  The Tribal Council may determine that some or all of the requested information should be released.  The policy of the Tribal Council shall be to favor disclosure.  The decision of the Tribal Council is final.

 
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Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) 20 Black Brook Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535-1546
Phone: (508) 645 9265    Fax: (508) 645-3790    Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
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