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In The News

Denver auditor asks city to take action against airport Westin hotel for withholding records

The 519-room hotel opened in late 2015 as part of a $719 million project that also included the airport’s transit center. The auditor’s letter marks the latest escalation of a fight for records that began more than a year ago.

Denver Post, July 8, 2019

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City Audit Faults Denver’s “Fragmented” Approach to Homelessness

The audit indicated that city officials agreed to implement each of its recommendations, and in a statement on Thursday, Hancock said he would go one step further, announcing plans to establish a new city department to lead its homelessness efforts.

Westword, April 19, 2019

Auditor calls on Denver Botanic Gardens to improve safety, security

"Specifically, the audit found that there were issues with screening and training volunteers who handle cash and have contact with children. The Gardens cannot prove that it conducted background checks for all volunteers involved in high-risk activities involving children or cash handling at special events like the Blossoms of Light at the York Street location or the Pumpkin Festival at the Chatfield Farms location, according to the document."

The Denver Channel, July 19, 2018

2019 Audits and News

Minimum Wage Enforcement (July 2019 - Release)
"Denver auditor takes charge of enforcing new minimum wage requirements" - Colorado Politics - July 1, 2019
"Pay increases for city workers start by law today — and Denver’s auditor is watching" - Denverite - July 1, 2019
"Denver auditor takes charge of enforcing new minimum wage requirements" - Colorado Politics - July 1, 2019
"Minimum wage enforcement begins for city employees and contractors" - FOX 31 - July 1, 2019

Contract Procurement Processes (Report June 2019 - Release)
"
Auditor: Denver Must Do More to Disclose Conflicts of Interest With Contractors" - Colorado Public News - June 20, 2019
"Denver auditor: City bidding practices lack safeguards against political favoritism" - Colorado Politics - June 21, 2019

Auditor Profile
"Executive Voice: How Denver's auditor changed the office into a watchdog for the city" - Denver Business Journal - May 24, 2019
"Surely you know what Denver’s auditor does. This explainer is just in case you don’t." - Denverite - April 4, 2019

Homeless Services (Report Apr 18 - Release)
"Eleven Big Challenges Hancock Will Face in His Third Term" - Westword - June 10, 2019
"Progress report on new Department of Housing and Homelessness" - 9News - June 12, 2019
"Denver auditor calls homelessness programs fragmented, understaffed" - Colorado Politics - April 18, 2019
"Auditor finds Denver homelessness strategy is “fragmented and understaffed”" - Denver Post - April 18, 2019
"Denver announces a housing and homelessness department — kind of" - Denverite - April 18, 2019
"Denver's approach to homelessness lacks strategic plan, audit finds" - 9News - April 18, 2019
"
City Audit Faults Denver’s “Fragmented” Approach to Homelessness" - Westword - April 19, 2019

Workday User Access Controls (Report Apr 18)
"Denver Auditor cites need for better oversight of software program for city personnel" - Colorado Politics - April 25, 2019

Jail Safety (Report Mar 21 - Release)
Denver’s auditor isn’t happy with the way the Denver Sheriff Department is handling safety at its jails - Denverite - Mar. 21, 2019
Auditor’s office: Safety approaches by the Denver Sheriff Department ‘fragmented and inconsistent‘” – 9News – Mar. 21, 2019
Auditor, Sheriff’s Department Disagree on Handcuffing Best Practices” – Westword – Mar. 22, 2019
Auditor found issues in Denver jails that could compromise safety” – The Denver Channel – Mar. 22, 2019

Westin Hotel Revenue (Report Feb 21 - Release Feb 21 - Release July 8)
"Denver Auditor Asks City To Sue DIA Airport Hotel Operator" - CPR - July 9, 2019
"Denver auditor asks city to take action against airport Westin hotel for withholding records" - Denver Post - July 8, 2019
Westin hotel at DIA evaded Denver officials’ attempts to dig into its operations and finances, audit says” – Denver Post – Feb. 21, 2019
Denver Auditor: Marriott Stood In The Way Of DIA Hotel Financial Audit” – CPR – Feb. 21, 2019
Marriott International blocking requests for DIA hotel info, Denver auditor says” – Denver Business Journal – Feb. 21, 2019
"Auditor's office: Marriott International blocking requests for DIA hotel info" - 9News - Feb. 21, 2019

Other news
"
Watchdog says Mayor Hancock isn’t following through on recommendations" - North Denver News - June 24, 2019
"Denver's Government Is Growing — Some Parts of It Faster Than Others" - Westword - April 30, 2019
"Mike Licht, former Denver auditor and mayoral candidate, dies at 87" - Denver Post - March 29, 2019

2018 Audits

Affordable Housing (Report Dec 2018 - Release)
Audit finds serious errors in city's affordable housing program - 9News (PDF)
Denver’s auditor is questioning whether its Office of Economic Development is doing its job on affordable housing - Denverite (PDF)
Denver staff will personally attend hundreds of home closings to fix city’s affordable housing mess - Denver Post (PDF)
City audit finds several “serious” problems with Denver affordable housing program - Colorado Independent (PDF)
Calderon challenges weaknesses in Denver affordable housing strategy in Christmas Eve tweet storm - North Denver News

Department of Parks and Recreation - Pahaska Teepee (Report August 2018 - Release)
Denver Auditor’s office finds issue with two concessionaires, also questions parks department oversight - Denver Post - Aug 16, 2018 (PDF)

Denver Botanic Gardens (Report July 2018 - Release)
"Auditor calls on Denver Botanic Gardens to improve safety, security" - Denver Channel 7 - July 19, 2018 (PDF)

Capital Assets Audit (Report Apr. 2018 - Release)
"Hundreds of Denver assets could be missing due to inaccurate books, audit finds" - Colorado Politics - April 23, 2018 (PDF)
"City of Denver missing millions in assets, suggests auditor"  - North Denver News - April 19, 2018

Peer Review (2018 Review)
"Denver's auditor's office passes with flying colors in peer review" - Colorado Politics - March 27, 2018 (PDF)

Denver International Airport Oil and Gas (Report Mar. 2018 - Release)
"Nearly a third of Denver airport's oil and gas wells are not losing money, an audit says. Should they be plugged?" - Denver Post - March 15, 2018
"DIA's oil and gas wells not big money makers, audit finds" - Denver Business Journal - March 15, 2018 (PDF)
"DIA is operating oil and gas wells at a big loss" - Colorado Politics - March 20, 2018 (PDF)

Denver Elections Evaluation (Report Feb. 2018- Release)
"Audit: Checks in place to ensure accuracy of Denver elections" - Colorado Politics - Feb. 22, 2018 (PDF)

Denver International Airport Parking Revenue (Report Feb. 2018 - Release)
"Denver does not track Uber and Lyft rides, opening risk, Denver auditor warns" - Denver Post - February 15, 2018
"DIA Could Be Missing Out on Uber, Lyft Revenue" - CBS 4 Denver - February 15, 2018 (PDF)
"Hail, no: Denver auditor wants DIA to ride hard on Uber and Lyft reports" - Denver Business Journal and 9News - February 15, 2018 (PDF)

Airline Agreements Follow-up (Report Nov. 2016 - Follow-up Report Feb. 2018 - Release)
"Denver Auditor: DIA needs to improve on accurately collecting fees from airlines" - Colorado Politics - Feb. 5, 2018 (PDF)

Denver Jails Operations Follow-up  (Follow-up Report Dec. 2016 - Release - Report Mar. 2015)

"Slow inmate processing at Denver jails leaves inmates, sheriff's deputies vulnerable, city auditor finds"- Colorado Politics - 1/22/18 (PDF)
"Denver auditor finds DSD has made significant changes, but inmate and deputy safety still an issue" - Denver 7 - 1/18/17 (PDF)
"Denver auditor says sheriff could do more to reduce violence in downtown jail" - Denver Post - 1/22/18 (PDF)
"Ensuring Accountability, Safety, and Security in a Large Urban Jail" - ALGA - Association of Local Government Audtiors - Fall 2018 (PDF)

Short Term Rental Audit 
“Denver is making progress regulating short-term rentals” – Denver Post – 01/04/2018

2017 Audits

Short-Term Rental Audit (Report Dec. 2017 - Release)

For the first time, Denver revokes short-term rental license on home listed as 'hotel' - 9News - Mar. 21, 2019
Airbnb to take over Denver lodging tax collections from hosts starting April 1 - Denver Post - Mar. 16, 2018 - PDF
"Audit Sees Room for Improvement in Denver's Short-Term Rental Program" - Westword - Dec. 22, 2017
"Audit reveals flaws in Denver's short-term rental system" - Denver Business Journal - Dec. 22, 2017
"Denver's Short-Term Rental Enforcement Needs Tweaking, Auditor Says" - Colorado Public Radio - Dec. 21, 2017
"Lodger's tax collected on Denver short-term rentals nears $2 million" - Denver Post - Dec. 21, 2017
"Denver Auditor says should do more to enforce short-term rental rules" - 9News - Dec. 21, 2017

Continuity of Operations Audit (Report Dec. 2017 - Release)
"Denver's not ready for a disaster, says city auditor" - Denver Business Journal - Dec. 18, 2017
"Audit finds Denver unprepared to continue essential services after disaster" - Denver Post - Dec. 17, 2017
"Denver might not be adequately prepared for a disaster, audit shows" - Denver Channel 7 - Dec. 14, 2017

Office of Marijuana Policy: Follow-up Report  (Follow-up Report Dec. 2017 - Release - Report Oct. 2016 - Release)
"Denver Auditor: Marijuana Policy Office Needs More Transparency" - Westword - Dec. 8, 2017
"Auditor finds Denver could do more to ensure marijuana tax revenue goes to right places" - Denverite - Dec. 8, 2017
"Denver marijuana regulators' oversight improved, but still lacking tax transparency, auditor says" - The Cannabist - Dec. 7, 2017

Child Welfare Services (Report Oct. 2017 - Release)
"
Denver can’t find background checks for child welfare caseworkers, auditor finds" - Denverite - Oct. 19, 2017

Community Planning and Development - Building Permits (Report Aug. 2017 - Release)
"Need a building permit in Denver? Auditor says you can expect to wait — too long" - The Denver Post - August 17, 2017
"Denver auditor finds builders are waiting a long time to get permits" - Denverite - August 17, 2017
"Denver auditor criticizes delays in city building permitting" - Denver Business Journal - August 17, 2017
"Denver looking for permanent permit solution" - 9News - August 17, 2017
"Audit: Denver city Planning Running Amok" - Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle - September, 2017

Denver Zoo Cooperative Agreement (Report Jan. 2017Follow-up Report May 2018)
Our News:
Zoo Stonewalls Denver Auditor - Apr. 2016
Zoo Agrees To Unrestricted Audit - Apr. 2016
Denver Zoo Agrees To Improve Compliance and Governance in Response to Audit - Jan. 2017
Zoo Makes Improvements After Audit - May 2018

Media Coverage: 
Read Auditor O’Brien’s letter to Mayor Hancock.  The “Cooperative Agreement” between the City and the Zoo is available here.
Denver Post Editorial on necessity of Zoo compliance April 6, 2016
Channel 7 on Zoo’s obstruction April 4, 2016
Denver Post on Zoo’s stonewalling April 5, 2016
Colorado Independent on Zoo stonewalling and SCFD renewal April 4, 2016
Denver Business Journal on Zoo’s obstruction April 5, 2016
Channel 9 on “What is the Zoo trying to Hide?” April 5, 2016
Letter to the Editor questioning SCFD funding level April 9, 2016
Denver Zoo, busting at the seams and back in the city's good graces, retools for the future - Denver Post - May 2018 (PDF)

2016 Audits

Medical Marijuana Taxation (Follow-up Jun 2016)

"$1.1 million recovered through medical marijuana audits" - The Colorado Statesman - Sept. 29, 2016 (pg 4)

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