Lee Perry: (603) 271-3511
Judy Stokes: (603) 271-3211
July 29, 2004
Fish and Game Sets the Record Straight on Audit Findings
CONCORD, N.H. -- Lee Perry, executive director of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, wants to set the record straight regarding recent state audit findings.
"According to the audit report, the Fish and Game Fund is healthy and the department's money is well accounted for," said Perry. "It is true that procedural mistakes were made, and that the auditors found inconsistencies with the department's internal financial reporting controls. All but six of the 48 audit observations have been addressed, and all Fish and Game money is now properly accounted for. We're in the process of resolving the remaining inconsistencies, and we have taken the further step of putting additional policies and procedures in place to ensure that similar oversights don't happen again."
Most importantly, says Perry, of the several auditors' findings that impacted the Fish and Game Fund's bottom line, half were identified and fixed prior to the release of the final audit report, and the other half have been fixed subsequently.
The State of New Hampshire Fish and Game Fund Financial and Compliance Audit Report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2003, conducted by the Office of Legislative Budget Assistant, was presented to and accepted by the Fiscal Committee of the General Court June 23, 2004. The introduction to the report states: "As part of obtaining reasonable assurance about whether the Fish and Game Fund financial statements are free of material misstatement, we performed tests of its compliance with certain provisions of laws, rules, and contracts, noncompliance with which could have a direct and material effect on the determination of financial statement amounts... The results of our tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards." The auditors noted two "material weaknesses," two "immaterial instances of noncompliance" and one "management issue," all of which are fully described in the report. The audit also identified 43 less-critical "reportable conditions" that "could adversely affect the Fish and Game's ability to record, process, summarize, and report financial data, consistent with the assertions of management in the financial statements."
"The Fish and Game Department is doing business as we always have, with high regard for the public trust," said Perry. "We take great care with our limited funds and we use them to manage the state's fish and wildlife populations efficiently and in the most effective ways we can." N.H. Fish and Game is funded primarily by fishing and hunting licenses; excise taxes on sporting equipment; and voluntary contributions.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.