Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Auditor General DePasquale To Audit Delaware, Susquehanna River Basin Commissions

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Tuesday said he is immediately starting the department’s first-ever audits of the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.  
“I look forward to working cooperatively with the Delaware and Susquehanna River Basin Commissions to identify any problems, concerns, or weaknesses and develop workable solutions,” DePasquale said during a news conference launching the two audits.
“My team will conduct comprehensive examinations of the river basin commissions and report back to the public and the General Assembly this summer.”
The two separate audits will be conducted simultaneously, focusing on six objectives specified in the state fiscal code (Act 44 of  October 2017), which mandated the audits review:
-- The cost of salaries, benefits and other compensation provided to the officers and employees of the commission;
-- The cost of expense reimbursements provided to the officers and employees of the commission;
-- Other fixed and variable costs of the commission;
-- The potential for improved efficiencies and overall cost reductions, including an analysis of duplication of Commonwealth efforts and the ability to share equipment, services or personnel with Commonwealth and local agencies;
-- Contributions to the commission by the Commonwealth or any person within this commonwealth, whether via appropriations, fees, penalties or otherwise, in comparison to other signatory parties; and
-- The impact of the fees and penalties of the commission on public and private entities within the Commonwealth.
The audits will cover July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 and are expected to be completed this summer.
On August 7, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission wrote a letter to the Auditor General inviting him to audit the SRBC’s finances and performance.
“SRBC is a multi-state commission whose responsibility is managing the water supply within the Susquehanna River Basin to ensure sufficient quantities are available,” Andrew Dehoff, SRBC Executive Director, said in August. “DEP’s role is to oversee programs involving water quality and the safety of drinking water. In rare cases where there could be duplication in our regulatory activities, we work together to avoid it.”
“We believe the auditor general will confirm our financial house is in order and clear up the misconceptions that some legislators seem to have,” Dehoff said. “We are and believe we should be completely transparent to the public and its elected representatives.”
The Delaware and Susquehanna River Basin Commissions are interstate compacts charged with preserving water supply and quality, managing drought and flood condition, and preserving water-related recreational opportunities.
For more information on the auditing, visit the Auditor General’s webpage.
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