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Texas General Land Office releases report critical of Alamo financial management

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SAN ANTONIO – An internal audit of the Alamo’s accounting and financial management is critical of the way the complex’s finances are handled.

The audit — the first of its kind in the Alamo’s history — suggests the General Land Office “reconsider the structure and funding model it uses for operating the Alamo.”

"This audit represents a cultural shift in the oversight of the Alamo's financial management policies," said Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

The report points out that a contracted employee uses state funds and assets to perform the daily operation of financial management, “an unusual situation that has created complexity and a lack of clarity regarding the nature and use of the funds used for Alamo operations.”

The report finds that the Alamo Complex’s financial formation and accounting fund does not comply with state requirements. 

In addition, the following recommendations are outlined in the report:

  • Reconsider the structure and funding model for Alamo operations
  • Comply with rules for cash held outside the treasury
  • Account for and report cash outside the treasury in accordance with comptroller requirements
  • Improve oversight and compliance with the contract for operating the Alamo
  • Ensure that expenses are supported, reasonable, and comply with state requirements
  • Monitor and assist the Alamo operator to improve its procurement processes
  • Ensure that the Alamo’s operating budget is complete
  • Ensure that conflict of interest reviews are performed before contract execution
  • Require improved audit trails for payroll expenses in replenishment requests
  • Ensure the timely resolution of outstanding items on reconciliations

When the state took over

Throughout the 20th century, various private sector and nonprofit groups — including the Daughters of the Republic of Texas — managed the Alamo Complex and its finances.

In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed H.B. 3726, transferring responsibility to the Texas General Land Office and requiring the accounting adhere to state agency regulations.

In 2017, Texas Senate Finance Committee members “grilled Bush on what they said was a ‘convoluted’ structure of nonprofits contracted for fundraising, maintenance upkeep and planning the future of the Alamo,” the Texas Tribune reported.

Read more about Texas lawmakers’ battle with Land Office over transparency in Alamo restoration

During the December hearing, committee members noted that that Alamo Complex Management was funded entirely by public money but didn't provide the transparency to track the use of that money.

The nonprofit, since renamed Alamo Trust, is responsible for day-to-day operations of the landmark.

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