To ensure that it adheres to the statutory requirement to reduce services or close parks to achieve any required budget reductions in the future, the department should determine the amount necessary to fully operate its 278 parks at the 2010 level. Moreover, the department should document its calculations and ensure that they include all costs associated with the operation of parks in 2010.
In January 2014, the Department released its Park Unit costing report. The Department reported Park Unit cost to the Legislature and is currently working on updating the calculation methodology. The costs were reconciled with actual expenditures reported in the Governors Budget to ensure that all costs associated with the operation of parks in 2010 were captured.
We acknowledge the department's efforts to implement our recommendation, however, effective September 2013, state law was amended effectively removing the requirement for the department to determine the amount necessary to fully operate its 278 parks at the 2010 level. As a result of the legislation change, we consider our recommendation resolved.
On August 1, 2013 all Districts reported 2010 expenditures to the park unit level. Headquarters is applying overhead by park unit level and will produce a report due to the legislature in December of 2013 that will include all expenditures at a park unit level. The Department previously developed and documented the methodology by which the 2010 expenditures would be reported.
Although the districts reported fiscal year 2010-11 expenditure information to the department, some individual park unit expenditures are not complete. Specifically, not all of the districts allocated their overhead to the individual parks. Also, the department has not yet allocated its headquarters overhead expenditures to the park units.
A methodology for reporting expenses at the park unit level has been tested and verified. Field personnel started working on the 2010 expenditures to report them at the park unit level on July 1, 2013 with an estimated completion date in August, 2013.
The first phase of the process that the department plans to use for calculating park unit costs details how districts will calculate the cost to run each park unit during fiscal year 2010-11, and includes an expected completion date of August 2013. However, the methodology does not specify whether the department will ensure that all of the individual park unit costs for 2010-11 reconcile with the total costs associated with the operation of parks in 2010.
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.