A Management Review of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
This audit examines selected management and financial practices in order to determine whether DNR has properly safeguarded and used its resources, has complied with applicable laws and regulations, and has met its statutory responsibilities.
While funds that we reviewed were used in accordance with the purposes expressed in law, in some areas financial management could be improved. Internal controls to safeguard the use of cash, equipment, and other assets are lacking in some programs. There is a potential conflict of interest in the way DNR accounts for and uses funds from a private foundation.
One systematic problem with DNR is the lack of an internal audit department. While the state auditor has recommended repeatedly since 1980 that an internal audit department be established, DNR management has not implemented this recommendation. In effect, DNR lacks a vital internal control to ensure that agency resources are used appropriately.
Another systematic problem is a general lack of written polices to guide department operations in areas such as law enforcement, the expenditure of county funds, cash transactions in the field, equipment use and maintenance, and confiscated firearms. Without written policies, the agency is leaving the door open to possible abuse and mismanagement of key resources.