• Springfield Republican: Audit finds more than $300,000 in unpaid fees at DCR

    July 17, 2013 - The following content was originally published by the Springfield Republican.

    A state audit of longterm permits and leases at the state Department of Conservation and Recreation uncovered more than $300,000 in unpaid fees, failures to impose late penalties and use of properties with expired contracts or without any formal written agreement.

    The department in 2011 had asked Auditor Suzanne Bump's office for the review of its long-term permit and lease programs. The department knew the unit suffered from flaws stemming from restructuring issues created by the merger of an old state commission and environmental department that resulted in creation of the conservation department.

    The department also attributed the problems to budget cuts in recent years.

    "DCR's lease management staff has been gutted to the bare minimum over recent years, which led in part to the significant deficiencies identified in the audit," Bump said in a statement.

    In the wake of the audit, the department has collected $198,111 of the $366,863 in outstanding fees pinpointed in the report, the audit said. Before the audit, the department was only aware that $49,620 of the unpaid fees were outstanding.

    Read more from the Springfield Republican.

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