Dean calls for independent audit to review convention center invoices

Monday, August 17, 2009 at 4:24pm

Mayor Karl Dean called for the hiring of an independent auditor to conduct a full review of the more than $450,000 Metro has spent on communications for the proposed convention center project.

Dean also announced Monday the auditor would conduct a “sample review” of all predevelopment spending so far by the Metro Development and Housing Agency. So far Metro has spent $16 million on predevelopment activities for the proposed Music City Center project.

The mayor’s office said the independent audit — which was first called for by District 6 Metro Councilman Mike Jameson on Aug. 6 — would be in addition to action already taken by the finance department on the matter.

According to the mayor’s office, Metro Finance has already requested a full review of all contracts, amendments and payments to date; requested a list of unpaid invoices; requested that MDHA return $1.6 million advanced for August invoices; and begun working to identify and assign workers to oversee and control all future spending until transitioned to the staff of the proposed Convention Center Authority.

Metro has its own internal audit department, but the audit will be conducted by an outside firm that has not yet been hired.


5 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 8/17/09 at 4:26

How about you let city staff oversee this thing permanently instead of hiding its work it in yet another Off Budget Enterprise?

Funny how Metro staff are more than capable of handling projects that are viewed as actual government projects but construction projects that are not universally viewed as something Metro should not be involved with are hidden behind another layer of curtains.

Looks like we only got lucky that NewsChannel5 looked at this one. I would bet that these events are quite common on other OBE run projects. Are there reporters willing to examine other MDHA projects for similar questionable practices? It may be worth a few hours to look at the other major OBEs in Nashville, the Metropolitan Airport Authority and Nashville Electric Service. Coincidentally MPF does work for them as well.

I doubt that NES would have any problems since TVA tightly regulates the plant accounting at all its distributors. The airport folks are tightly controlled by the DOT and FAA but that applies mainly to airside facilities. They do not experience that same oversight on questionably useful terminal conveniences and parking and vendor facilities.

By: producer2 on 8/17/09 at 4:46

First let's just get it straight, MPF did not break any laws or do anything that was unscrupulous. The ammended budget for PR that MDHA has is $900,000 for this project. Should they have done a better job of handling this process and been more transparent...yes but nothing as salacious as you make it out to be. You will have your new Authority for transparency tomorrow. thanks for leading the charge....

By: idgaf on 8/18/09 at 4:48

What we need is a criminal investigation of Dean why he is spending taxpayer money on a project that hasn't even been approved.

Using our money to "sell" the project to us, how scanky is that?

By: BigPapa on 8/18/09 at 6:53

This shows what a snake Dean really is. Hopefully he'll be a one term Mayor.

By: bfra on 8/18/09 at 7:28

So the fox "Dean" will probably pick the company to audit the henhouse!