There won't be a legislative audit of the Utah Sports Authority, the government agency created to spend $56 million in tax money set aside for building Olympic facilities, lawmakers decided Friday.
"I see no purpose for it other than publicity," Sen. Lane Beattie, R-Bountiful, said after asking fellow members of the Legislature's audit subcommittee to deny the request made by Rep. Kurt Oscarson, D-Sandy.Oscarson had asked the subcommittee to look at a number of concerns about how the tax dollars are being spent, including whether "good ol' boys or friends" are being given contracts by the sports authority.
"All you can do is alert the committee," Oscarson said, adding any further push for an investigation will now have to come from the group that asked him to request the audit. "It's going to be up to them. I've done my part."
Dave Owen, one of three active members of Utahns for Responsible Spending, said after the subcommittee meeting that the group will try again to get the audit. "We'll be back," Owen said.
Another member of the anti-Olympic group, Stephen Pace, told the subcommittee the audit was needed because it is not clear where the state will find money to operate the still-unbuilt facilities if Utah is not awarded the 1998 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee in June.
But Randy Dryer, a member of the sports authority, said the questions raised in the audit request could be answered by the 15 members of an oversight committee that includes six lawmakers.