For the second time this week a state audit has found a state agency is not enforcing or implementing some state laws, primarily due to lack of funding.
The report on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship found the agency is failing to “comply” with some state laws, like the one requiring the agency to administer licensing tests for people who repair or “service” commercial scales that measure loads of grain or livestock. The $5 licensing fee doesn’t cover the costs of the test, according to agency.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is run by Bill Northey, the Republican who was elected state ag secretary in 2006. The report from the Republican state auditor’s office recommends that Northey’s department take “corrective action” to meet certain requirements. For example, the audit found there was only one person handling some key transactions and it was impossible to determine if appropriate fees had been paid.
State law calls on the department to establish an “Organic Nutrient Management” fund to provide farmers with financial incentives to properly deal with manure application. There’s no “Office of Renewable Fuels and Coproducts” either, as required by state law. Neither program is operating, due to lack of funding.
An audit of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that was released earlier this week found the agency was not enforcing over a dozen state laws. The audit of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship cited the agency for failing to enforce or comply with eight state laws.
“We take audit findings very seriously and have a good relationship with the audit team,” Northey said in a written statement. “We look to them to provide our office with suggestions on how to continue to improve Department operations.”
(This story was updated at 4:51 p.m.)