Klamath River Basin Conservation Area Restoration Program: Limited Assurance Regarding the Federal Funding Requirements

GAO-05-804 Published: Sep 19, 2005. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2005.
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Highlights

The Klamath River Basin Fishery Resources Restoration Act (Act), passed in October 1986, required the Secretary of the Interior to establish and restore a conservation area in that river basin, created a management council and a task force to assist and advise the Secretary, and authorized $21 million until September 30, 2006. The restoration program reports that it had been appropriated over $17 million by September 2005. In anticipation of the authorization's expiration, GAO was asked to provide information for fiscal years 2000 through 2004, the most recent 5-year period for which complete information is available, about (1) funding for the program; (2) expenditures by the program for restoration projects, travel expenses, administrative expenses, overhead, and technical support; (3) expenditures by the management council and the task force; and (4) whether the Secretary complied with certain requirements of the Act. GAO obtained funding and expenditure information from FWS but did not audit that financial information.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Interior In order to enhance compliance with the Act, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service to modify the standard project agreement language to distinguish between cash and noncash contributions from the project participant.
Closed - Implemented
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) modified the project agreement language to distinguish between cash and non cash contributions from project participants. FWS provided a sample project agreement to show that FWS modified the standard project agreement language and requirements. Further, a February 2006 project agreement signed by a FWS Field Supervisor, included language that required the project participant to distinguish between cash and non cash contributions.
Department of the Interior In order to enhance compliance with the Act, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service to include a requirement in the standard project agreement that if any contributor to the project is a state or local government, that contributor must attest to how much, if any, of the contribution is from federal monies received by that state or local government.
Closed - Implemented
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) modified the project agreement language to specify whether contributed funds come from federal or non federal sources. FWS provided a sample project agreement to show that FWS modified the standard project agreement language and requirements. Further, a February 2006 project agreement signed by a FWS Field Supervisor, included language that required the project participant to specify whether contributed funds come from federal or non federal sources.
Department of the Interior In order to enhance compliance with the Act, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service to develop standard operating procedures for reviewing and validating contributor-supplied information regarding the determination and valuation of noncash contributions and determination of nonfederal sources of funds.
Closed - Not Implemented
The Klamath River Restoration Fund expired in September 2006 and was not reauthorized. The Fish and Wildlife Service could not provide documentation to show that they had procedures for reviewing and validating contributor-provided information.
Department of the Interior In order to enhance compliance with the Act, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service to track Restoration Program funds requested and received through the appropriations process by specifically identifying Klamath Restoration Program funds.
Closed - Not Implemented
The Fish and Wildlife Service could not provide documentation to show that they had established procedures for tracking restoration program funds. The Klamath River Restoration Fund expired in September 2006 and was not reauthorized.
Department of the Interior In order to enhance compliance with the Act, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service to track Restoration Program funds expenditures through FWS's Federal Financial System by assigning a project code to the Klamath Restoration Program funds.
Closed - Implemented
The fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) assigned a separate project code to the Klamath Restoration Program Funds to enable tracking these funds separately from other appropriated funds. Specifically, in FY 2006, FWS established project code 8K00, "Klamath River Restoration" in subactivity 1331 Anadromous Fish Management to track Klamath River funds separately from other 1331 monies. FWS provided a screen print from its Federal Financial System to show that the code had been implemented.

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