For more information, contact:
Donald S. Clarke, Acting Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department: 603-271-3511   
January 15, 2008                                 

Fish and Game Department Performance Audit Report Released; Recommendations for Changes Made

CONCORD, N.H. -- At its monthly meeting today, the Fiscal Committee accepted the Office of the Legislative Budget Assistant Audit Division's Performance Audit Report of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

According to the report, the purpose and scope of the audit was to "assess the efficiency and effectiveness" of the N.H. Fish and Game Department. The report concludes that New Hampshire state government has assigned responsibilities to the Fish and Game Department in an efficient and effective manner. The report contains 30 observations that address a wide variety of issues, including governance matters associated with the Fish and Game Commission, strategic and operational planning, revenue generation, organizational structure within the Department, and fleet management and controls. Due to the financial situation of the Department, the audit focused on the program areas most dependent on unrestricted revenues.

"The Department concurred or concurred in part with 90% of the audit observations," said Acting Executive Director Donald S. Clarke. "The overall audit process provided us with an opportunity for self-examination in responding to the observations and, looking ahead, it will give us an opportunity to make changes that will improve our ability to achieve our mission."

Clarke noted that N.H. Fish and Game will prepare an action plan to address the recommendations. To the extent resources are available, priorities will include:

  • Revising Fish and Game's strategic plan, documenting Department priorities and developing operational plans for the Divisions;
  • Conducting a vehicle utilization review with an eye toward efficiency;
  • Working closely with the state Office of Information Technology to improve data management through various database improvements; and
  • Developing a cost-accounting system for use by all Divisions.

The report suggests that the Legislature may wish to look at a number of issues, including:

  • New revenue streams to fund the Department's work into the coming years;
  • A change to the name of the Department to better reflect the broadening responsibilities and constituency now served;
  • Making the Fish and Game Commission advisory; and
  • Broadening representation on the Commission.

"The Department will work closely and cooperatively with the N.H. Legislature to review the relevant laws and implement the recommendations made by the Audit Report," Clarke said.

For the full report containing the specific observations and responses, click here (pdf document, 1.12 MB).

For an LBA Audit Division summary of the report, as well as link to the full report and ordering information for print copies, visit www.gencourt.state.nh.us/lba/PerformanceReports/FG_2007p.html.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to conserve, manage and protect the state's fish and wildlife and their habitats, as well as providing the public with opportunities to understand, use and appreciate these resources.

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