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Department of Parks and Recreation: Flaws in Its Budget Allocation Processes Hinder Its Ability to Effectively Manage the Park System.

Department of Parks and Recreation: Flaws in Its Budget Allocation Processes Hinder Its Ability to Effectively Manage the Park System.

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Published by Jon Ortiz
Audit of California Department of Parks and Recreation
Audit of California Department of Parks and Recreation

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Published by: Jon Ortiz on Sep 10, 2013
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09/11/2013

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Department of Parks and Recreation
Flaws in Its Budget Allocation Processes Hinder ItsAbility to Efectively Manage the Park SystemReport 2012‑121.2September 2013
COMMITMENT
INTEGRITY
LEADERSHIP
 
Te rst ve copies o each Caliornia State Auditor report are ree. Additional copies are $3 each, payable by checkor money order. You can obtain reports by contacting the Caliornia State Auditor’s Oce at the ollowing address:
Caliornia State Auditor555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300Sacramento, Caliornia 95814916.445.0255 or Y 916.445.0033
ORTis report is also available on our Web site at www.auditor.ca.gov.Te Caliornia State Auditor is pleased to announce the availability o an online subscription service.For inormation on how to subscribe, visit our Web site at www.auditor.ca.gov.Alternate ormat reports available upon request.Permission is granted to reproduce reports.For questions regarding the contents o this report,please contact Margarita Fernández, Chie o Public Aairs, at 916.445.0255.For complaints o state employee misconduct, contact the Caliornia State Auditor’sWhistleblower Hotline: 1.800.952.5665.
 
Doug Cordiner 
Chie Deputy
Elaine M. Howle
 State Auditor
555 Capitol Mall, Suite  Sacramento, CA 9584 96.445.55 96.7.9 ax www.auditor.ca.gov
September 10, 2013 2012‑121.2Te Governor o CaliorniaPresident pro empore o the SenateSpeaker o the Assembly State CapitolSacramento, Caliornia 95814Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:As requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Caliornia State Auditor (state auditor)presents this audit report concerning the Department o Parks and Recreation’s (department)budgeting and personnel practices. Tis report concludes that the department’s inormal processesor allocating budgets to its districts and or tracking district expenditures hampers its current eortsto budget and track expenditures at the park level. Specically, the department provides districtswith their budget allocations months ater the scal year begins. As a result, the districts operateduring the busy summer season using prior‑year allocations as their budgets. However, this causesproblems or districts when the allocations they ultimately receive are less than what they receivedin the prior year. Additionally, the department’s process or tracking district expenditures generatesduplicate inormation and is not helpul or districts to manage their allocations.Tese issues i not addressed will negatively impact the department’s current eorts to establish aprocess or budgeting and tracking expenditures at the park level. Despite state law requiring thedepartment to determine whether it sustained a required budget reduction, we concluded in ourFebruary 2013 report that the department lacked the ability to comply with this law because it did nottrack expenditures at the park level. In June 2013 the director o the department distributed a memodescribing the process the department intends to use in calculating each park’s past expenditures anduture costs. Although its process begins to address our concern, the department must completeand ully implement the process to calculate park unit costs to comply with the provisions o state law.We also identied signicant concerns related to some o the department’s personnel processes.During our audit we identied additional instances in which the department inappropriately boughtback leave. Moreover, despite the recent scrutiny over the unauthorized leave buybacks it processedin 2011, the department still has not done enough to prevent such practices rom occurring again inthe uture. Although it disciplined our managers who were involved in the unauthorized leavebuybacks, the department has not changed its processes or provided appropriate training to itssta. We also noted that although the department has established an Executive Personnel Review Committee (EPRC) to manage its stafng, it has not developed policies and procedures to govern theroles and responsibilities o the EPRC’s members nor does EPRC communicate its decisions tothe department director or executive ofce. Without better controls, training, and guidelines, thedepartment may encounter uture difculties in its stafng and personnel actions.Respectully submitted,ELAINE M. HOWLE, CPAState Auditor

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