Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Internal Controls Over Park Use Permits at the Long Island Region

Park Use Permits are required for many of the recreational, promotional, and other types of activities commonly conducted at State parks. Each park region is responsible for developing a comprehensive fee schedule for these permits, and is expected to charge fees in accordance with the schedule. However, we found the Long Island Regionís fee schedule was not comprehensive, as no fee was specified for many of the activities needing permits. As a result, varying fees (and in some cases, no fees) were charged for these activities. We recommended that a comprehensive fee schedule be established and the fees on the schedule be applied uniformly throughout the Region.

We also identified certain weaknesses in the Regionís controls over fee collections, In particular, much of the Regionís fee revenue was inappropriately being deposited into the accounts of a related public benefit corporation (Natural Heritage Trust). According to officials from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the funds deposited with Natural Heritage Trust were used for the same purposes as the funds deposited in State accounts. However, the practice circumvented the Stateís normal budgetary controls, because the funds were not appropriated, reported on and accounted for like other State funds. We therefore recommended that all State revenue collected by the Region be deposited into authorized State accounts, as is required by law.

For a complete copy of Report 2007-S-80 click here.