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Tampa International Airport Audit Finds Spending Concerns

Tampa International Aiport terminal.
Tampa International Airport
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The draft audit of the Tampa International Airport expansion project offered reccomendations for increased transparency.

A draft of a state audit into Tampa International Airport's $2.3 billion expansion has raised questions about the airport's spending and executive salaries.

The draft report also found inconsistencies in the awarding of contracts, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which obtained the audit.

The Florida Auditor General's office has made twelve findings, including that airport authorities did not provide justification for multimillion dollar spending on art projects. The report also found that the authorities did not award contracts to the most qualified bidders on two separate occasions.

The review sometimes went beyond the scope of the expansion, questioning the five-figure raises awarded to six airport executives in 2014. 

Airport spokeswoman Janet Scherberger said that the airport received the draft audit and had already begun implementing eight of the twelve recommendations. 

"Overall, it shows we've been good stewards of the state's investment in the airport expansion," she said.

State Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) had called for the review earlier this year, saying there was "potential public corruption" during the expansion project.

According to the Times, the Auditor General's recommendations mainly revolved around improvements to transparency and best practices, but did not support Lee's claims.

The final audit is expected to be released by the end of December.

Roberto Roldan is a senior at the University of South Florida pursuing a degree in mass communications and a minor in international studies.
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