Insufficient records mar audit of West Virginia’s environmental department

A series of failings involving the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's computer system has led to problems tracking $23 million worth of permit and fee revenues from the last five years, according to the Daily Journal.

An investigation conducted by the office of State Auditor Londa Sabatino uncovered inaccurate fee invoice and payment listings, as well as multiple copies of the same entries, which may have led to duplicate payments.

The money that could not be tracked was comprised of annual fees related to the release of pollutants into waterways, funds for underground storage tanks, and payments from oil and gas drillers to protect groundwater in the area, the news source reports.

According to DEP Secretary Randy Huffman, the Environmental Resources Information System is an informational database that was never intended to be used for tracking finances.

Duplicate payments can have a significant effect on an organization's bottom line, and are estimated to make up approximately 0.1 percent of payments, according to the Institute of Internal Auditors. However, this percentage can increase when proper accounting systems are not in place.

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