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Audit Reveals That California Does Not Track Costs Of Operating Parks

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Samuel P Taylor State Park

Samuel P. Taylor State Park (California State Parks)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – A new audit finds that the state Department of Parks and Recreation does not know how much it costs to operate each of California’s 270 state parks, beaches and recreational areas.

State Auditor Elaine Howle on Thursday reported her findings as part of an investigation into $54 million found hidden last summer in two special funds.

The money was misreported for more than a decade. Howle’s audit shows it was a symptom of deep dysfunction in the department.

Related Content: Full Report From The California State Auditor’s Office

The audit said parks officials have no way of knowing how much the state would have saved by closing 70 parks last year because of budget cuts. Operating costs were estimated based on geographic regions using 10-year-old figures.

Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned and a senior department official was fired last summer.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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