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Program Audits

Office of Economic and Demographic Research: Economic Evaluation of Florida’s Investment in Beaches (January, 2015)

At the request of the legislature, the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) completed an economic analysis of Florida’s statewide Beach Management Program. The scope of the evaluation included the following:  

  •  Identify the strength of the relationship between Florida’s beaches and the state’s attractiveness as a tourism destination, including the impact on the state’s brand;
  • Calculate the state’s overall return on investment (ROI) from its current expenditures on beach management and restoration projects; and
  • Assess the impact of the potential shocks such as major storm damage or other disasters, including a discussion of the state’s economic risk.
  • Evaluate the ROI as a project selection criterion. 

According to the report:

“EDR determined that the state’s brand is made up of nine features that attract visitors. Beaches are the most important feature of Florida’s brand, accounting for 25.5% of the state’s attractiveness to visitors. The state appropriates funds yearly to repair storm damage and ensure the high quality of the beaches.

The state’s investment in the Beach Management and Restoration Program generated a positive return on investment of 5.4. The ROI was estimated using tax revenues resulting from visitor spending induced by the state’s investment in beaches. A return of greater than 1 means that the tax revenue generated by tourists to the state of Florida more than covers the state’s expenditure on beaches.”

For the full text of the report, please see: EDR- Economic Evaluation of Florida's Investment in Beaches (2015)

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Office of Program Policy and Government Accountability: The Beach Management Funding Assistance Program was Recently Improved,  but Some Stakeholder Concerns Persist (December, 2014)

At the request of the legislature, the Office of Program Policy and Government Accountability completed an evaluation of Florida’s Beach Management Funding Assistance Program. The scope of the evaluation considered:

  • current rule and statutory criteria
  • funding request application process, information requirements and timelines, and
  • use of ranking criteria in the annual project ranking for funding consideration.

The report concluded with the following:

“To address the prioritization of projects, the Legislature could consider separate project lists for federal-state funded projects and state-local funded projects. To increase focus on the value of projects, the Legislature could consider directing DEP to revise how it considers various administrative criteria. The Legislature could also consider options to simplify the application process as well as alternatives to account for storm damage occurring after applications have been submitted.”

For the full text of the report, please see: OPPAGA- Beach Management Funding Assistance (2014).

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Auditor General’s Operational Audit Report 2014-064: Beach Erosion Control Program

The Florida Auditor General has completed an audit of the Beach Erosion Control Program (also known as the Beach Management Funding Assistance Program).

The audit resulted in two recommendations for the program.

  • Recommendation 1: We recommend that Department management establish a standardized review process and develop Program guidance for local sponsors addressing the selection of contractors. The review process and guidance should address the identification of potential conflicts of interest and require that project monitors be independent of the Program project phases they are to monitor.
  • Recommendation 2: We recommend that Department management establish guidance, including contractor hourly rate guidelines, addressing specific project costs allowable under the Program. To improve management and oversight of the Program and better ensure that projects are economically and efficiently completed in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and grant agreement provisions, we also recommend that the Department establish a mechanism for tracking project costs by expenditure type and strengthen its process for reviewing local sponsor project contracts and requests for reimbursement.
  • For the full text of the report, please see: Florida DEP Beach Erosion Control Program: Operational Audit 2014-64

According to standard audit procedures, the Department provided preliminary responses to both recommendations for inclusion in the final audit report. The Department’s responses included possible alternatives to address the concerns of the Auditor General. However, the Department is committed to developing solutions that reflect a cooperative effort between the agency, industry and coastal stakeholders to avoid future conflicts of interest with regard to program monitoring and fiscal accountability. As discussed in Workshop 4 on June 17, 2015, the Department is prepared to move forward with a policy to address Conflicts of Interest through transparency. Staff will discuss the details of policy implementation in Workshop 5, which is being scheduled for August 20, 2015. In the interim, staff has prepared a draft of the policy change and a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that may assist stakeholders in preparing for the new policy. Additional questions can be submitted to the Beaches Funding email (noted below) and answers will be posted by Department staff in response.

Workshop Presentations, and Public Comments 

A new email account has been established for the program: Beaches_Funding@dep.state.fl.us. If you would like to be added to the distribution list for workshop and informational notifications, please send your request to this email. You may also use this email to submit any comments or suggestions regarding the audit and public workshops. All comments will be retained, documented and included in discussions during future workshops.

We look forward to working with you on the implementation of the Auditor General’s recommendations. If you would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Alex Reed at 850-245-2980 or alex.reed@dep.state.fl.us.

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DEP Office of Inspector General Report A-1112DEP-058: Beach Restoration Project Funding Scoring Process (2012)

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a review of the Division of Water Resource Management, Beaches and Coastal System’s (BCS) beach restoration project scoring process. This review was initiated as a result of the FY 2011-2012 Audit Plan. The scope included an assessment of the scoring process used within BCS for projects submitted under the FY2012-2013 funding cycle. The objective of this review was to determine whether the scoring process documented a consistent, objective, and transparent application of project information submitted by local sponsors for consideration.

The audit resulted in the following recommendations of the OIG:

  • We recommend that clearly established documentation retention procedures, which include a listing of documentation required to be in project funding files be implemented and enforced. It is important that this list of required documentation include relevant information which supports the awarding of points to projects, as well as any other important information regarding the overall ranking process or special conditions experienced by a particular project.
  • We recommend the BCS implement control steps into the process to document an equal and consistent process. To demonstrate independent review of project information, we recommend project management staff independently score projects prior to attending the project scoring meeting and that this step be adequately documented. These steps should be documented for each project in the scoring process. To demonstrate that all participants are under equal consideration and governance of the process, reasonable deadlines should be enforced within the process. Furthermore, we recommend that the scoring meeting be adequately documented and the processes of that meeting have clearly articulated standards.
  • We recommend that BCS develop, implement, and publish documentation which accurately conveys the steps of the project scoring process such as a specific project scoring process map and/or general procedures.

In order to address the audit findings and recommendations, the following steps have been taken:

  • The ranking process is fully transparent and all documents used in the annual prioritization process are available to the public on DEP’s webpage.
  • Project assessment forms have been drafted for each project, documenting each assessment date, project details and justification for the award or denial of each ranking point. Project assessments are posted online with other documents used during the annual project ranking process. Additionally, all program deadlines are strictly enforced.
  • A process map timeline was published in the FY 2013-14 Proviso Report, submitted to the Legislature on December 30, 2013. Documentation of the ranking process is in draft and should be available online at the beginning of FY 2015-16 to be used as a reference during the processing of the FY2016-17 priority ranking.

For the full text of the report, please see: DEP OIG: Beach Management Funding Scoring Process (2012)

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Program Audits

Why Restore Eroded Beaches?

Funding Assistance Program Information

Track Project Funding

Submit Funding Request Package

View Funding Requests

Project Managers

BMFA Documents

Critical Coastal Erosion

Staff Contacts

Would you like to view rules and regulations regarding beach restoration?

Chapter 62B-36, Florida Administrative Code
Beach Erosion Control Assistance Program

Note: the following link opens in a separate window

Chapter 161, Florida Statutes
Beach and Shore Preservation

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