The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce takes offense with a recent audit ordered by the Santa Clara City Council.
The issues raised by TAP International, the auditor for the Council, are standard practices in the service industry. As managers of the Convention Center for forty years, the Chamber has followed the policies and procedures given to them by the City Council from the beginning.
Providing negotiated pricing in the service industry is a long-established practice to attract groups and organizations to hotels and convention facilities. The auditor incorrectly recorded these negotiated prices as money the Chamber misused or lost.
The auditor further indicated the Chamber had not contracted properly with the City regarding their management fee. This is not correct. The management fee increase was explained clearly in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 budget and was even marked in red. This Council approved this budget increase and accepted it by unanimous Council vote.
The auditor wrongly indicated Chamber members were self-dealing. The Chamber has always supported doing business with Chamber members who offer and provide fair and competitive pricing and services. No member has been provided, or offered, favored treatment.
Why has the City spent $20,000 of taxpayer money to send two letters to the business community and Chamber members with the City’s interpretation of the audit? This is a first. The Chamber, the board and our members have always had the best interest of Santa Clara as our northstar.
The Chamber prepared a thorough response with documented facts, which we were to present to the Council on October 9th. The City arbitrarily postponed our response until November 13th which is after the election. Again, we ask why?
The City Council intentionally and baselessly condemned the Chamber and its successful 30-year partnership with the City. We challenge these false statements and will seek to restore our reputation in November. www.santaclarachamber.com/auditresponse.
Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce