In 2018, the Office of the Public Auditor recommended that the Department of Public Lands develop a tracking system to monitor submission of required documents when due. Fast forward to 2020, each DPL division now has one.
The recommendation for a document tracking system came after OPA’s findings in its 2018 audit of the management of land leases and temporary permits, that the DPL did not closely monitor compliance with lease agreements and permits.
According to the report released by the OPA last week, DPL has updated its master list for all leases, permits, and agricultural grazing permits to include pertinent documents and timeframes for renewals.
Semi-annual random audits are also now being conducted by an internal auditor to verify compliance to monitor each division’s progress. Non-compliances are reported by the internal auditor to DPL’s Compliance Division.
“Each division has a tracking system in place to monitor due dates and submission dates of required documents, account statuses, and incoming/outgoing correspondences for all leases, temporary occupancy agreements, and AGP,” the report stated.
Plans to improve the DPL tracking system are also in place “to allow its system to flag leases, TOAs, and AGPs 90 days prior to expiration to ensure timely renewals, document submissions, and inspections.”
OPA, in its 2018 finding, stressed that “untimely submissions of, or complete failure to submit, required appraisals and financial documents may result in potential loss of revenue,” adding that that is a concern as the documents dictate the annual base rent and additional rent for lessees and permittees.
In a follow-up meeting last December, OPA said that DPL has made significant improvements to its tracking system to track and monitor the status of leases and permits, including monitoring due dates for submission of required documents.
“DPL’s tracking system also includes the names of the staff assigned to each lease and permits. The assigned staff is responsible for ensuring that all required documents are submitted when due and prepares notices for those in violation of their contract terms and conditions,” OPA’s most recent report read.
In addition, a Microsoft Access database is also being developed by DPL’s internal auditor to ensure a more efficient monitoring and tracking system.