|Public Release Date: February 4, 1999||No. 99-8|
The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for managing public waters, lands, parks, forests, and minerals, as well as ensuring compliance with a broad range of regulations that affect natural resources. The department consists of seven divisions (Waters, Forestry, Parks and Recreation, Enforcement, Minerals, Fish and Wildlife, and Trails and Waterways), departmental field operations, and support services. Mr. Rodney Sando was the commissioner of the department during the audit period.
Our audit scope was limited to those activities material to the State of Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 1998. Our primary audit objective was to render an opinion on the State of Minnesota's financial statements. Our scope within the Department of Natural Resources included timber sales and iron ore rents and royalties revenues, flood damage reduction and Metropolitan Council grants, and sportfish and wildlife restoration expenditures.
We qualified our report, dated December 1, 1998, on the State of Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report because insufficient audit evidence exists to support the State of Minnesota's disclosures with respect to the year 2000. Similarly, we do not provide assurance that the Department of Natural Resources is or will be year 2000 ready, that its year 2000 remediation efforts will be successful in whole or in part, or that parties with which the Department of Natural Resources does business will be year 2000 ready.
For the areas audited, the Department of Natural Resources' financial activities were fairly presented in the general purpose financial statements of the State of Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 1998. As a result of our audit procedures, we identified one instance of noncompliance with finance-related legal provisions. We found that the department was not receiving and depositing iron ore rents and royalties in accordance with applicable statutory provisions. For the federal sportfish and wildlife restoration programs, the department complied, in all material respects, with the types of compliance requirements described in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement that are applicable to each of its major federal programs for the year ended June 30, 1998.
The Department of Natural Resources agreed with the audit finding and is working towards it resolution.