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Reason Foundation

DWR: ProgressÖ pending

Skaidra Smith-Heisters
February 21, 2008, 7:16pm

Last fall, the California Bureau of State Audits released a critique of the Department of Water Resources' administration of flood protection bond monies, including $57 million approved in 2000 for flood corridor projects from Prop 13, and an additional $330 million in the pipe from Propositions 84 and 1E (the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 and the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006, respectively). Among the findings of the state audit: even though DWR had developed a scoring tool to appraise the relative value of different projects considered for funding, they didn't use it when actually awarding funds; even though regulations require that a hydrologic study demonstrating the flood protection value of each project is submitted with each proposal, the department approved funding without hydrologic studies; the department granted funds to projects even when the proposals did not provide evidence of affected property owners' willingness to sell their property; the department did not establish a framework for overseeing the progress of funded projects, though they were required to; did not obtain complete progress reports, and did not regularly visit project sites to monitor progress–but made "progress payments" to grantees nevertheless.

Skaidra Smith-Heisters is Policy Analyst


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