Audit Critiques Lafourche Tourism Board's Spending
THIBODAUX, LA (AP) — A state audit criticizing the Lafourche Parish Tourism Commission's spending practices validates a 2013 report to the Parish Council.
The audit finds the commission failed to produce receipts and documents to back up more than $25,000 in meals and another $22,000 in general operating expenses.
The Courier’s Jacob Batte reports Houma-based certified public accountant Martin and Pellegrin conducted the partial audit, focusing on meal, travel, entertainment and general operating expenses on request of the tourism board.
The audit was requested at the behest of the commission's board of directors following Lafourche Legislative Auditor Tommy Lasseigne's report to the Parish Council, chairwoman Linda Guidry said.
"The board of directors and the new executive director of the Bayou Lafourche Area Convention and Visitors Bureau recognized the issues of the past, sought professional advice and implemented the recommendations," Guidry said.
The commission couldn't provide receipts for more than $17,000 from 79 travel expenditures, according to the audit.
The report evaluated about 75 percent of travel expenditures, including meals, entertainment and mileage from 2011-2013.
The board of directors unanimously voted to implement changes to the policy and procedures manual to increase allowable gratuity to 20 percent, make employees responsible for gratuity higher than 20 percent and place an increased focus on making sure all transactions are include a receipt, itemization and more rigorous scrutiny from the commission supervisor.
The findings shouldn't come as a surprise. In July 2013, Lasseigne presented a similar report to the Parish Council, on a smaller scale, characterizing the commission has having no control on spending or reimbursements.