$150 Million and Little Accountability Is Something Dallas Taxpayers Can’t Accept From Its Convention Booker

Every convention and visitors bureau in the country uses expensive dinners, trips and entertainment to woo clients. But in every case, there must be a clear and verifiable business purposes for those expenditures. This is what troubles us about the findings of a city audit of VisitDallas, the independent nonprofit that operates under a contract with the City of Dallas to attract tourism and conventions. According to the city auditor, VisitDallas received almost $150 million in the fiscal years 2013-17 to market Dallas. That money was spent without any significant oversight from the city. The audit also asserts that VisitDallas CEO Phillip Jones, who is paid nearly $700,000 a year, spent VisitDallas dollars based on vague performance metrics and incurred travel expenses that sometimes violated his own agency’s guidelines.  Continue reading...

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