Report 2010-117 Highlights - May 2011

General Obligation Bonds:

The Departments of Water Resources and Finance Should Do More to Improve Their Oversight of Bond Expenditures


Our review of the Department of Water Resources' (Water Resources) administration of bond funds revealed the following:

  • It generally made appropriate decisions when awarding the general obligation bond funds and when paying recipients.
  • Although it generally demonstrated effective oversight of projects, we noted some weaknesses for two of the 10 projects we reviewed.
    • It did not always obtain quarterly progress reports or the progress reports received were late or incomplete for one project.
    • It could not demonstrate that it performed an adequate site visit for one project or that it had obtained a civil engineer's certification that the project was built as planned, and for another project no site visits were conducted.
  • It could improve its transparency and accountability requirements—Water Resources has posted inaccurate or incomplete information on the Bond Accountability Web site for some of the projects we reviewed, and would benefit from developing a formal review process.

In assessing the Department of Finance's oversight, we found that:

  • It has not required state agencies—such as Water Resources—to post the amount of bond funds actually spent for specific projects, and doing so would enhance public transparency.
  • It lacks procedures to ensure agencies update their information on the Bond Accountability Web site.
  • It has completed relatively few audits of state agencies that administer Strategic Growth Plan general obligation bonds and none of Water Resources.

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