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City Auditor’s Office makes recommendations to improve Visit KC’s accountability to the city

Post Date:11/13/2019 9:59 AM
NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 13, 2019
CONTACT: Douglas Jones, City Auditor, (816) 513-3300

The City Auditor’s Office released an audit focusing on Visit KC’s performance data and financial reporting to the city. The city contracts with Visit KC as an agent for booking city convention facilities, attracting events to city hotels, and promoting tourism in Kansas City.
 
The audit concluded that Visit KC’s performance measure and financial reporting was not always clear or useful to the city. City staff and Visit KC did not always have a similar understanding of how a performance measure was defined. Performance measures reported by Visit KC were not always accurate, consistent, or documented. Some measures reported to the city included event activity outside of Kansas City, Missouri. Visit KC’s financial reporting was not in a useful format and did not separate Kansas City’s funds from funds received from other sources.
 
The audit also concluded that the Visit KC Board’s lack of required financial disclosures and the organization’s irregular contracting gives the appearance of Board conflicts of interest.  Most Visit KC board members did not submit required financial disclosures to the city clerk and Visit KC’s Board does not have a conflict of interest policy. An ongoing multi-million-dollar contract with a Visit KC Board member’s company originated from a $160,0000, limited-term contract. Changes in the scope and contract dollar amount during the RFP process did not follow recommended practices. Additionally, Visit KC did not follow its own policies and procedures when the contract was later amended to increase the compensation to the board member’s company beyond the amount specified in the contract.
 
The audit includes recommendations to improve Visit KC’s accountability to the city; to improve the usefulness and clarity of the performance measures Visit KC reports to the city; to segregate city funds and performance data from other sources in its reporting to the city; and for Visit KC to adopt policies and processes to address conflict of interest and contracting issues identified. City management and Visit KC agreed or partially agreed with the recommendations.
 
View the complete report at the City Auditor's website on KCMO.gov.

The audit is scheduled to be presented to the Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee that meets at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
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