LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The city’s parks department has pledged to change how it collects money at Iroquois Amphitheater after an audit found cash management practices there were “inadequate.”

The audit was one of five reviews released in May by Metro government’s Office of Internal Audit, which determined four of the agencies needed to improve their methods of safeguarding funds.

But the most severe opinion was for Metro Parks and Recreation. The amphitheater and an event rental office at Iroquois Park had a system of controls auditors said isn’t reliable, posed a “severe risk of damage” and required “immediate” corrective action.

From Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015, the amphitheater and rental office generated $1.5 million in revenues, according to the audit. The most lucrative month was October, when Iroquois Park hosts the Jack O’Lantern Spectacular.

In reviewing the yearlong period, auditors found that a key was left in a cash drawer through the work day and some reports were not taken directly to the city’s Office of Management and Budget. That led to “an increased risk of a data breach, as the reports may contain sensitive and protected, confidential data (i.e. account information).”

The audit also noted one case in which the amount of money deposited into a bank account didn’t match the amount collected in sales for that day. Auditors weren’t able to explain the discrepancy of $2,470.

Auditors found no evidence of any illegal acts. But they warned of “diminished accountability” over some funds because cashiers, in nine of ten cases that were examined, failed to properly document the money collected during their shifts with the sales that occurred.

In seven of those cases, there was no proof that cashiers counted money taken in, the audit says. Auditors also noted that receipts were omitted in reports to the city’s cash management division.

In response to the audit, parks officials agreed to use a courier for deliveries to the main budget office, add security cameras in a hallway and ticket office and create a spreadsheet to “assure that the daily funds balance.”

Among other measures, ticket takers at Iroquois Amphitheater now tear tickets and send one half to an office "so that the amount of tickets sold can be reconciled with the amount of money collected.”

Parks officials have taken steps to that “will lead to a stronger, more profitable operation at the Amphitheater and our permits and rentals office,” spokesman Jon Reiter said.

In an email, he said the number of events at the amphitheater, including the Jack O’Lantern tour, drew roughly 120,000 people to the park last year. But, he added, “the success has at times posed a challenge to our staff. They have had to adapt to all sorts of changing circumstances while being incredibly busy with other tasks.”

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