Forest Service Cost Accounting for Timber Sales

T-AFMD-90-4: Published: Nov 16, 1989. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 1989.

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GAO reviewed the Forest Service's Timber Sale Program Information Reporting System (TSPIRS). GAO found that: (1) overall, the Service continued to make progress in testing and implementing TSPIRS; (2) TSPIRS accounting for road costs was consistent with the basic system design outlined in a GAO report and was appropriate for cost accounting purposes, but alternative methods existed; (3) TSPIRS correctly reported timber sales costs; (4) a consultant suggested that the Service calculate timber growth costs using historic harvest volumes, rather than a theoretical estimate, in order to better match growth costs with the timber actually harvested; (5) TSPIRS reports included all significant timber sales costs directly related to timber growth and harvest; and (6) TSPIRS economic analysis reports were consistent with normal reporting of economic estimates and may be most useful at the forest, rather than regional, level.

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