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Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau

September 18, 2018 Final Audit Report:

Santa Clara Convention Center and Convention-Visitors Bureau: Restructuring Operations Can Strengthen Accountability, Performance and Revenue

Background

Per Council’s May 12, 2018 direction, the City hired TAP International for a performance audit on Convention Center, and by extension, CVB processes and activities.  Denise Callahan, principal of TAP International, is the lead auditor for the contract.

Initial observations by TAP showed possible self-dealing by the Chamber and its members, undisclosed free use and reduced-rates for use of a public facility by the organization and its members. When there is preliminary evidence of potential fraud, waste or abuse, it is an audit requirement to immediately report it to the client (in this case, the City).  The provision of discounts to Chamber members, including full discounts to the Chamber and other entities that use Convention Center facilities triggered this requirement.  Preliminary audit observations were presented to Council on June 26.

In response to several questions regarding TAP International:

Who is TAP?  What is Ms. Callahan’s experience?

TAP International has over 100+ years of combined experience conducting performance audits. Ms. Callahan has an extensive auditing background and has trained multiple local, state, federal and international audit organizations on performance auditing as well as provides on-going coaching and quality assurance reviews.  She serves on the Audit Committee for the American Society for Public Administration and has won awards for the quality of completed performance audits. View background summary.

Has the TAP audit and request to inspect documents exceeded their scope?

TAP has not gone beyond the scope of the audit.

Does TAP have a conflict of interest?

The City of Santa Clara has not identified any potential conflict of interest, real or perceived.

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