Cultural Alliance audit

Banning Cultural Alliance :  first audit raises more questions than it provides answers

For several years – since 2006 – the Banning Cultural Alliance has received massive taxpayer funding from the City of Banning totaling roughly $ 750,000. However, how this money was used has always remained  a mystery. Giving in to public pressure, the Banning Cultural Alliance has now released it’s first  audit (click here) .

Looking at this audit, what jumps out right away is that it only covers calendar year 2008. This means that the Cultural Alliance fails to provide comprehensive accounting for the  period of 2006 and 2007 – the 2 year period during which they received the most taxpayer dollars ( click here for copies of checks )

There is also a concern that this audit does not meet the criteria of a – more detailed –  A-133 audit. Redevelopment funds were used to fund the Alliance and those funds  partially originated from Federal funds (HUD). In such cases there is usually an  A-133 audit required, which was not produced. If an A-133 audit is required, failure to produce such an audit can potentially result in the Federal Government demanding  repayment of all funds disbursed.

All in all, this audit must be deemed insufficient – Banning  needs a detailed audit from “day one” of the funding. Needless to say that the large positions for “misc. expenses” and “other expenses” ( almost $ 22,000 ) raise more questions than they provide answers. The same holds true for their 6 digit “contractor and staff ” expense  ( $ 126,658 ). Who are those mysterious “contractors” ?

The public has every right to know the details of how the Banning Cultural Alliance spends taxpayer money. But given the lack of transparency provided by the Alliance – they seem to think they can get away with not providing that information. Let’s see if our City Council will protect the taxpayer and demand answers from the Alliance.