Commisioners in Orange County, Fla., voted at the end of April to enact several measures aimed at making the operations of the Orlando/Orange County (Fla.) Convention and Visitors Bureau more transparent.
The action comes following an audit of the CVB that was released in February and criticism from local news outlets over the agency's spending. Among faults found by the audit, which was conducted by the office of the county comptroller, was a lack of evidence that significant actions taken by the OOCCVB's executive committee were brought before the bureau's board for approval, including the separation agreement for former president and CEO Bill Peeper and the selection and compensation agreement for current CVB head Gary Sain.
"Per our by-laws, the executive committee is authorized to employ the CVB's CEO and handle related compensation matters," George Aguel, current chair of the CVB's the board of directors and vice president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, told M&C. "Accordingly, the full board was not involved. We proposed amending this point to include the full board of directors."
The actions the Board of County Commissioners is asking the CVB to follow include:
• Disclosing more executive salaries;
• Requiring major decisions such as compensation and policies to be approved by the full board;
• Posting board of director meeting meetings online; and
• Initiating semi-annual presentations to the public.
After the revisions were approved by the board, Aguel said in a statement, "The seven-to-zero vote finalizes changes to the contract and adds additional reporting requirements and the requirement for semi-annual presentations to the public. Most of all it expresses a vote of confidence for the efforts of the organization on behalf of our community."