To ensure that districts receive timely budget allocations, the department should establish and implement a formal allocation process by January 2014 that includes the following:
- A timeline that mirrors the State's budget process and describes when the department will provide park districts with draft allocations, revisions to draft allocations, and final allocations.
- A description of the roles and responsibilities of key staff involved in the process, including budget office staff, the deputy directors and division chiefs for park operations and the OHMVR division, and district superintendents.
See 'BP-1 Development and Distribution' procedures. The Department issues numerous versions of allocations department wide before the budget is enacted.
BP-1 Development and Distribution
The process has been incorporated into the Budget Office's Desk Procedures. Desk procedures do not go into a department-wide policy manual such as the DAM because it would confuse the reader.
Attached is a sample of an e-mail that went out to the Districts on July 1, 2014, with their budget allocation plans.
The department asserts that a budget process has been incorporated into the budget office desk procedures, but has not provided those procedures to us to substantiate its claim of fully implemented. Additionally, although the sample provided by the department indicates it sent draft and final allocations to districts in February and July, respectively, the memo indicates allocations that would coincide with the May revise of the governor's budget. The department's response is silent as to how it implemented a description of the roles and responsibilities of key staff involved in the process.
The Department has complied with this process in establishing initial budget allocations that mirror the Draft Budget released in January 2014. The process, with timeline and responsibilities delineated, is attached.
Although the department provided us with a memo describing how it plans to implement our recommendation, it did not indicate whether such a process had been incorporated into a formal process document such as its Department Administrative Manual.
The Department has prepared draft written procedures to document the allocation process proposed for 2014/15 and for future years. These procedures clarify the review process for budget allocations by the various management levels within the Department. The draft procedures are in comment phase now and will be finalized for use in preparing the 2014/15 budget.
Although the department has developed draft procedures for a more formal allocation process that includes a description of the roles and responsibilities of various staff at the department and a timeline, the timeline is only for providing preliminary budget allocations based on the January Governor's Budget. Specifically, the department's draft procedures state that after budget hearings are concluded and the May revised budget is released, updated allocations will be created; however the draft procedures do not indicate a timeframe in which districts will be notified of changes to their budgets from May revisions. Similarly, once a final budget is adopted by the Legislature and signed by the governor, the draft procedures do not provide a timeframe when districts can expect their final allocations. Additionally, the department's draft procedures do not address who will contact key staff throughout the department when delays in the budget process occur. Without more detailed procedures for when districts can expect revised and final allocations, districts may have difficulty planning their annual expenditures.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.