State Comptroller Says More Control Over Spending Needed At CVB

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Bob Doak
Bob Doak

The state Comptroller’s Office is recommending the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) board of directors take steps to adopt detailed policies concerning how the CVB spends its money.

 

The Comptroller’s Office has completed a review of Hamilton County’s hotel/motel taxes which are all forwarded to the CVB. The annual report is required by Public Chapter 170, Public Acts of 2017.

 

The report contains three findings and some observations related to the CVB’s expenditures from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

One of the findings reveals the CVB did not maintain detailed receipts for 36 percent of the credit card charges examined by auditors.

 

Other findings disclose the CVB is not making written reports to the Hamilton County Mayor and Board of Commissioners as required by Resolution 207-27, and the CVB is not adequately documenting how gift cards received by local businesses are used.

 

Officials said, "Overall, the CVB’s operational policies and procedures are very general. The Comptroller’s Office believes more detailed policies should be adopted by the board to specify valid expenditures. Examples of items to address in the policies are if and when local meals are allowable, a reasonable amount for employee retirement gifts, and the appropriateness of other miscellaneous expenses.

 

"While some CVB expenses may appear lavish or questionable compared to county government departments, they might be considered reasonable or necessary within the tourism promotion and recruitment industry."

 

The Comptroller’s Office also recommends the Hamilton County Commission require transparency from the CVB and any other non-profit organization that receives county funds.

 

“The Chattanooga CVB receives nearly all of its funding from hotel and motel taxes,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “It’s vital that taxpayers have confidence that this money is used to promote the CVB’s mission. That assurance can be achieved if employees are following detailed policies on how money should be spent.”

 

CVB officials said conclusions included:

 

· The industry of tourism promotion and recruitment is unique and therefore cannot necessarily be compared to the operations of other departments of county government.
 
· The spending of the CVB appears to be for tourism and tourism-related purposes based on the documentation of expenses examined during the performance of our review.
 
· No obvious, material instances of waste or abuse were noted in our review of the expenses of the CVB.

 

Bob Doak, longtime CVB executive director, announced recently that he is retiring.

 

To view the Chattanooga CVB report, click here.

 

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline.

 

County Commissioner Tim Boyd said, "It is not good for our community that the State Auditor’s Office validated many of the issues raised over the past several months concerning the management of tax dollars by the CVB. However, what is important now is the path of cooperation the Hamilton County Commission, the County Mayor and the CVB Board chooses to follow going forward."

 



Walker County Arrest Report For Jan. 15-21

Here is the Walker County arrest report for Jan. 15-21: WALKER       JONATHAN  PHILLIP         W/M    41        LPD    SIMPLE BATTERY-FVA , HINDERING PERSONS MAKING 911 CALL JOHNSON     JOSHUA        ... (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news.  Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like ... (click for more)

DACA Or Amnesty To Become The Majority?

As we have the political drama that we see in D.C. let’s be honest about what DACA is all about. We understand as the liberal policies of abortion, dependency on the government and an anti-American globalist / progressive agenda that many have come to realize these policies no longer represent their core beliefs and have left a certain party. Without an influx of new dependency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Rebranding & ‘Culture’

My grandfather, who ran several very successful businesses, was a very astute fellow. I can’t tell you how many times he said, “The worst thing any salesman who calls on a business can say is, ‘I am here to save you some money.’ That’s not true -- In every instance they are in front of you hoping to make some money for themselves, else they would have never come by.” Another ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Mississippi State Too Tough For Lady Vols

KNOXVILLE --  A tough week for the Tennessee Lady Vol basketball team got just a little bit tougher on Sunday afternoon here at Thompson-Boling Arena. With the season’s largest crowd of 13,436 fans and a national television audience watching, the sixth-ranked Lady Vols were hoping to get a little redemption after blowing a big lead and losing at fifth-ranked Notre Dame on ... (click for more)

Heights Boys, Girls Team Post Solid Victories On Saturday

Hamilton Heights’ girls defeated host Mercy Academy in a cakewalk, 75-35, to wrap up their impressive effort in the Raatz/O’Shea’s Classic in Louisville, Kentucky. The Lady Hawks (18-2) were led by Elizabeth Balogun’s 19 points and Treasure Hunt added 16 points. Esmery Martinez had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Kamilla Cardosa scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Jazmine ... (click for more)