parks and recreation fees - october 2021
Parks and Recreation Fees
Released October 2021
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We undertook this audit because a City Council member expressed concern about inconsistent fees charged at the city's recreation centers. We reviewed city code and the department's policies and procedures to determine when fees were last set and to assess processes for setting, collecting, and recording fees.
Our recommendations to the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation are to improve the fee-setting process.
- The Department of Parks and Recreation manages 409 city parks and recreation facilities, which provide amenities for residents and nonresidents.
- While best practices recommend parks and recreation agencies establish program cost-recovery goals, which can range from 0% to 125%, the city's financial system is not currently set up to capture program level expense data.
- City code authorizes the Parks and Recreation Commissioner to waive fees, but the department has no written procedures for how and when waivers will be provided or documented.
- The department was unable to provide supporting documents for 10 of our random sample of 22 participants and not all applications included the required supporting documents.
- The department could strengthen its cash handling procedures by ensuring key duties are segregated.