A report by the State Auditor’s Office recommends that Iowa Department of Natural Resources review the fees it charges for use of its electronic registration system. Deputy State Auditor, Andy Nielsen, says they looked at the cost when people use the system to reserve a camping spot, cabins, lodges and shelters .
“At this point in time the park fees are not covering the administrative costs and we suggested that they take a look at that to see whether or not they should be tweaking those a little bit to cover those administrative costs,” Nielsen says. He says the DNR responded that the fees are set by the administrative code and the department has no plans to raise the fees at this time.
“One of the pieces of the response was, they strive to make the parks and recreation areas available to all and they are reluctant to increase the fee at this point,” Nielsen says. Anther area raised in the report deals with some regulatory functions. The report for example, says the DNR has not created a compliance advisory panel to review and report on the effectiveness of the small business technical assistance program of the Clean Air Act. The DNR has not conducted random inspections of work done by city and county public works departments to ensure public works departments are complying with water quality regulations.
Nielsen says the DNR response says it’s a matter of getting the proper number of people appointed and in place to carry out the work. “Basically comes down to they may not have had quite the number of people they need to have a legal meeting. They just need to work forward to having the positions filled and then get the meetings done so that they can follow the code. Either follow the code, or get it modified, amended,” Nielsen says.
There were some other accounting issues raised in the DNR report, but Nielsen says none of them are a major concern. “No, it’s pretty routine. For the wide breadth of areas that they cover, they are going a good job,” Nielsen says.
You can see the full audit report here:DNR Audit PDF