I do a lot of work with California State Parks, being a concessionaire in some of their parks, so I have been following the various scandals in that agency closely. One part of the scandal was that CSP apparently hid something like $54 million in reserve funds from the legislature. I wondered how it was possible for the state to not know there was $54 million lying around un-reported.
It seems like we have a partial solution to my quandary. It is possible to misplace $54 million when you also misplace another $2 billion.
More than $2 billion in California taxpayer money has apparently been stashed in hundreds of special funds unaccounted for by the state Department of Finance, a newspaper reported on Friday.
An examination of more than 500 special fund accounts, like the $54 million discrepancy in state parks money, showed a $2.3 billion "discrepancy" between state controller and Department of Finance numbers, according to the San Jose Mercury News ( http://bit.ly/MPdkls).
No one checks the controller's figures, so the difference wasn't caught.
The analysis showed at least 17 accounts appear to have significantly more reserve cash than what was reported to the Finance Department.
The violent crime victim restitution fund, for instance, was off by $29 million, and a low-cost child health insurance fund was off by $30 million. The fund that rewards people who recycle bottles and cans was $113 million off.
State finance officials operate under a longtime honor system. The controller's figures were never checked and oversight groups didn't catch the discrepancies even though the numbers are publicly available on two state websites.
LOL, politicians' "honor". We can see what that is worth.