Report 2012-121.1 Recommendations and Responses in 2015-041

Report 2012-121.1: Department of Parks and Recreation: Weak Procedures Have Led to Inconsistent Budgetary Reporting and Difficulties in Measuring the Impact of Efforts to Keep Parks Open

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of 2014-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
Department of Parks and Recreation 2 7 2 2 0

Recommendation To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

The department's executive management should monitor the budget process closely to prevent any future variances from established policies and procedures designed to ensure accurate reporting.

Response

Statewide procedures and policies for ensuring accurate reporting have been established by the Department of Finance, and are outlined in the "Fund Reconciliation Guide" (see link below). This process has been occurring since the FY 2014-15 Governor's Budget development process. Departments are required to submit Detailed Fund Balance (DFB) reports (Form DF-303) for all funds that have fund condition statements in the Governor's Budget. The DFB report is used by state departments to reconcile accounting data to budgetary data. Departments use the DFB report to prepare the past year portion of Fund Condition Statements for the Governor's Budget. Submission of the DFB report to the Department of Finance requires Departmental certification that the information provided reconciles to year-end financial reports submitted to the State Controller's Office. The Department's Executive Staff provides this certification, and therefore is involved in ensuring that procedures and policies are followed.

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Fund Reconciliation Guide: http://www.dof.ca.gov/accounting/Fund%20Reconciliation/documents/DFB_Guide_August_2015.pdf

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: September 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

Recommendation To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To ensure that any significant changes affecting fund balances proposed by Finance for presentation in the governor's budget are presented accurately and transparently, the department should develop procedures to require higher-level review and approval of such changes by its chief deputy director, director, and potentially the secretary for the Natural Resources Agency. The department should identify levels of significance for the proposed changes in fund balances that would trigger seeking these higher-level approvals.

Response

The Department has implemented procedures that have been included in the Budget Offices' Desk Procedures Binder. The Budget Section has also implemented changes that will allow them to identify augmentations in fund balances more accurately and timely. Analysts within the Budget Section have been identified as fund custodians and will be undertaking a monthly reconciliation process using State Controller's Office reports and identifying any significant changes in fund balances. The analysts will work closely with the General Ledger Unit to ensure the validity of these changes and ensure that both parties are seeing the same activity. If accurate, then different levels of management will be notified depending on the percentage change to any fund's balance. See 'Fund Balance Changes Initiated by the Department of Finance' procedures for more information.

Attachment B:

Fund Balance Changes Initiated by the Department of Finance

Attachment C:

Memo Released to Budget Staff

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: September 2015
  • Response Date: September 2015

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2015-041