by Steven Hale
A report released today by the state comptroller's office calls out the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Department of Revenue for "poor management and administrative oversight" of Tennessee's film incentives program.
The report contains the findings of a performance audit of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. Three findings are highlighted in particular:
1. The Department of Economic and Community Development and the Department of Revenue have disregarded their statutory responsibility and exercised poor management and administrative oversight of the state's headquarters film incentive program.
2. The Tennessee Spend, which is used to calculate the 17% and 15% incentive payments, is likely to be significantly overstated for reasons including poor internal controls, insufficient policy, and lack of management accountability among the departments involved with its determination.
3. The former Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music executive director, after signing statements of understanding for the Department of Economic and Community Development's Conflict of Interest Policy and Governor Bredesen's Executive Order #3, did not adequately disclose a personal connection to a law firm that appears to have been involved with at least three productions that received incentives.