National Park Service:

Flood Recovery Efforts at Yosemite National Park, California

RCED-99-50R: Published: Jan 27, 1999. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 1999.

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Victor S. Rezendes
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the use of the disaster recovery funds provided for Yosemite National Park, following the January 1997 flood, focusing on whether: (1) planned and actual expenditures are consistent with the park's planning documents; (2) the costs of the disaster recovery projects appear reasonable; and (3) there is any merit to the allegations about the misuse of some of the disaster recovery funds.

GAO noted that: (1) to date, GAO has not identified any inconsistencies between planned and actual expenditures and the park's planning documents; (2) at the time of the review, only about one-third of the funds (about $60 million) had been obligated or spent, and the costs for the disaster recovery projects that GAO sampled appeared to be reasonable; (3) however, the park did not sufficiently justify its plan to use flood recovery funds to construct additional office space; (4) GAO has received allegations from a variety of sources, which included, for example, concerns about the misuse of flood recovery funds to purchase vehicles and computer equipment; (5) the allegations that GAO reviewed about the misuse of flood recovery funds, however, could not be substantiated; and (6) it should be noted that the review provides a snapshot of the flood recovery obligations and expenditures made between the time of the January 1997 flood and September 30, 1998.

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