Changes will be made in the way promotional tickets for concerts at the Illinois State Fair and the DuQuoin State Fair are handled, following a finding by the auditor general. After examination, the auditor general found a “lack of written policies and procedures for distribution of grandstand complimentary tickets.”
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While many of the grandstand complimentary tickets were distributed for promotional activities, bartering or exchange of services beneficial to the fairs, some tickets were given to advisory board members, charitable organizations, fundraisers, and state employees, which were not supported by any justification as to why the “distribution of these tickets was advantageous or beneficial to the operation of the ISF.” The report goes on to say that the fairs could not always document the specific individuals receiving the grandstand complimentary tickets.
Jeff Squibb, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, which oversees both fairs, says changes will be made. “The auditor general points out that we do not have sufficient documentation on who has received those tickets and we agree with that finding and we are in the process of drafting a rule to address it,” Squibb said. The report also found that attendance to the state fair was up 9 percent in 2011 over 2010. Attendance at DuQuoin was up 0.3 percent, or 1,000 people.