Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

State Rep. Scott Suder on the DNR audit


Well, DNR backers had their say about the recent audit. Needless to say, their response to the state audit of the DNR is a little different than that of State Representative Scott Suder:

…the administrative costs of fish and wildlife management are statutorily limited to 16 percent. However, due to gubernatorial veto, the DNR must only count what it spends on Department-wide administration and Division-administration when calculating the total. This was not the Legislature’s intent. Two consecutive Legislatures passed measures including Bureau of Fish and Wildlife expenses and the overhead for licensing in that 16 percent. In fiscal year 2004-05 had those expenses been included the actual cost of administration would have been 23.5 percent. In other words, for every dollar hunters and anglers send the DNR almost 25 cents is used to feed the bureaucracy. By not counting the Bureau and Licensing expenses, the DNR has been able to significantly increase its fat while making it look as though it is lean on administrative expenses. Quoting from the recent audit, “We note that while costs for departmental and division administration declined between FY 1996-97 and FY 2004-05, costs for bureau and licensing administration, which are excluded from the statutory limit have both increased considerably. Bureau administration costs increased from $1.2 million to $3.0 following reorganization in FY 2001-02…Licensing administration costs funded from user fees increased from $1.2 million in FY 1996-97 to $5.5 million in FY 2004-05. All told, in less than 10 years, the amount spent on those two areas, that are clearly administrative expenses, increased 500%. {emphasis added -jw}

Brian Fraley has been following the issue here and here. Brian was outraged when administrative costs were 11%. Suder points out it is really 23.5%. If this were a private charity, there would be demands for an investigation.

Scott Suder
has the complete audit available via his website.

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