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Audit: Conservation department overspent on elk project

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Though the Missouri Department of Conservation was awarded the second-highest rating given by Missouri State Auditor Thomas Schweich's office, a recent audit docked the department for its financial treatment concerning reintroduction of elk to the state.

According to the audit, released yesterday, the department originally had estimated a cost of $411,185 to release 150 elk in the state, but the project failed to include costs for such items as salaried employees, habitat improvements and long-term monitoring.

The audit said the department had spent more than $1.23 million to reintroduce just 39 elk as of June 30.

Additionally, the elk restoration project was discussed in closed sessions in January, April and May 2010, which is not permitted under the Missouri Sunshine Law.

Overall, the department received a "good" rating, indicating the entity is well managed and that the audit report contains few findings.[[In-content Ad]]


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