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Audit critical of Nevada tourism contracts

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) A legislative audit says the Nevada Division of Tourism awarded contracts without following proper procedures and in some cases made payments exceeding maximum amounts.

The audit released Monday found that in half of contractors examined, payments exceeded maximums outlined in contracts by more than $660,000. In some cases payments were made without adequate documentation.

Much of the criticism centers on the state's $3 million contract with Burson-Martsteller, a public relations firm that helped create a new state brand and marketing campaign.

Agency Director Claudia Vecchio says most of the problems cited have been corrected. But the agency rejected an audit recommendation that future contracts include deliverable requirements and payments based on meeting those objectives.

Vecchio says such a requirement restricts creativity and ability to adapt to changing media markets.

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