Audit Division
Audit Summary

Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources
Division of State Lands
Report LA96-27

Results in Brief

The Division does not maintain a comprehensive automated inventory of all state lands. Although, the Division developed an automated database to track state lands, the database only includes about 8% of state-owned lands. As a result, the Division must rely on an index system that does not always provide complete and accurate information. Our examination identified several properties and interest in properties that either were not recorded or were not accurately identified on the index. The index did not include all property easements and included properties transferred to other entities, properties sold, expired leases and site selection information for properties never purchased. Further, the Division has not established a program to perform regular property inspections and monitor land use for compliance with deed and other restrictions, nor has it assigned all applicable lands to the appropriate using state agency.

Principal Findings

1. The index of state lands did not always provide accurate information. The index included 3 land parcels that had been sold, 1 of which had been sold over 50 years ago. In addition, the index included 6 parcels or interest in lands transferred by quitclaim deed or relinquishment to other entities, site selection information for land not purchased and 2 expired leases. To accurately show current state land ownership, these items should be separately identified as no longer being state-owned lands or interest in lands. The index also did not include 3 easements. (page 10)

2. The Division's index of state lands is not complete. The index does not include cost and acreage information for properties purchased after April 1, 1957. Cost, acreage, and other pertinent information must be obtained from other sources. (page 10)

3. The Division's computerized land inventory database has not been completed. The Division needs a system that will provide the necessary information in a more efficient and easily retrievable manner. The current index system is cumbersome and inefficient. (page 12)

4. Although the Division's policy states it will complete regular property inspections and monitor land use for compliance with deed and other restrictions, it performs land inspections generally as time is available or if complaints are received, and completes monitoring of land usage mainly in conjunction with other inspections or also if a complaint is received. When performed, the Division's land records do not always document the Division's review. Of 30 files reviewed, only 3 instances were found where land inspections or monitoring land usage had been documented. (page 13)

5. Not all state lands have been assigned to using agencies. Of the files examined, the Division has formally assigned only about to using agencies. NRS requires that all applicable lands be assigned to a using agency. (page 14)