California departments hoarding more than $2.3 billion

July 27, 2012

While California legislators vote to cut funding to schools and healthcare, state departments have underreported more than $2.3 billion, according to a analysis of 500 special funds by the Mercury News.

Following the discovery that state parks had underreported $54 million in its disclosures to the California Department of Finance, the state began reviewing the more than 500 special funds across state government to verify that departments have provided identical fiscal information to Finance and the Controller.

The review by the Mercury News found at least 17 accounts appear to have significantly more reserve cash than what individual departments reported to the Finance, though it’s unclear why.

For example, the fund that gives restitution to violent crime victims was off by $29 million, a low-cost health insurance fund for children was $30 million out of balance and the fund that rewards people for recycling bottles and cans was underreported by $113 million.

Finance officials are continuing to examine each special fund, line-by-line, to determine how much of the money is truly hidden.

“That ($2.3 billion) number will be inaccurate by the time we are done,” Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer said.



  1. The Gimlet Eye says:

    This article is suggestive of other, wider problems:

    Study shows that the super-rich are hiding $20 to $31 trillion in offshore tax havens. [Because most of these people are highly placed in government or are closely connected to those who are, governments will not track down these hidden fortunes.] BBC 2012 Jul 22

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. shelworth says:

    Why are they getting so much more money than they need in the first place? I used to work at the county airport back in the late 90s when the did the remodel. They did a lot of things that made no sense at all, I was told if they didn’t spend the money it would “disappear”, I think Karen Velie was working at the New Times then and did a story on it. Terrible waste of money.

    (19) 19 Total Votes - 19 up - 0 down
  3. slo Fact Finder says:

    WOH! No wonder confedience in government at all levels is at an all time low.

    Even on a local level the general public has questioned and needs to question how the local rate payers hard earned tax dollars are being spent and wether there are secret savings accounts that are not being properly disclosed to the public.

    Hopefully, formerly undisclosed savings and investment accounts and who manages them will become more apparent to local San Luis Obispo residents in the near future, particularly if new leadership is empowered to bring back fiscal accountability and transparency to SLO City Hall.

    (12) 12 Total Votes - 12 up - 0 down
  4. slojustice says:

    Knowing how government budgeting is done, this is no surprise to me. The way we vote this year is important. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. We are developing a government elite. It is the managers not the line workers that are perpetuating this.

    (22) 22 Total Votes - 22 up - 0 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      There’s a hoarding problem, not a spending problem. If they’d spent it, there’d be no story now, would there?

      (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
  5. danika says:

    Remember this election day.

    (29) 33 Total Votes - 31 up - 2 down
  6. The Gimlet Eye says:

    The Obama administration has prosecuted whistleblowers and journalists for ‘leaking’ evidence of high-level wrongdoing within the government, but has itself perpetrated serious leaks of classified information while no prosecution is ever considered. [In sum, leaks of classified information are a heinous crime when they embarrass or undermine those in power, but are noble and necessary when done to bolster them.] Salon 2012 Jul 24

    (16) 20 Total Votes - 18 up - 2 down

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