Texas General Land Office Audit Critical of Alamo Oversight

The Texas General Land Office has released an internal audit criticizing the Alamo's accounting practices.

The audit findings are consistent with a September draft report that Land Commissioner George P. Bush had previously called "doctored," the Austin American-Statesman reported .

The internal audit released Thursday questions the use of a nonprofit to manage the historic site's operations using public money but without public scrutiny.

"The current situation obscures the control of the funds," the audit said. "It also has created a situation where GLO is responsible for state laws over the use of funds, but with limited control since the expenditures are prior to approval by the GLO."

The document recommends that the office reconsider its structure and funding model for the Alamo.

The newspaper released the draft report's nearly identical findings in February while Bush was campaigning in the Republican primary for Texas land commissioner. His campaign had scrutinized the story, calling it "fake news."

Bush won the March 6 primary and faces Democrat Miguel Suazo this fall.

Suazo said the audit shows Bush "lacks the competence to manage our state's most historic landmark."

Agency spokeswoman Brittany Eck had previously said that the conclusions in the draft report were significantly altered, though she didn't clarify how.

But the agency on Thursday applauded the internal audit, which drew the same conclusions as the draft report.

"The fact of the matter is that the GLO proactively initiated this audit -- the first of its kind in Alamo history -- to modernize and reinforce oversight and accountability," Eck said.

The agency responded that it's moving "toward an industry-standard nonprofit museum management model" that "will take some years, and is taking place in the context of a historic renovation at the Alamo and its surroundings in San Antonio."

Bush is overseeing a $450 million plan to redevelop the site.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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