Lack of database management shows gaps in St. Louis museum network

September 9, 2013

At the Zoo-Museum District (ZMD) in St. Louis, Missouri, board members are raising a lot of questions about its resources. After auditing the Missouri Historic Museum and the St. Louis Science Center, investigators found that senior staff members were rewarding themselves with five-figure bonuses, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

In response to this, the ZMD board decided to look into these investigations more often. If ZMD changed its data processes sooner, it could have found these discrepancies sooner, preventing a search for missing financial statements.

"We decided it was probably a good oversight mechanism," Tom Campbell, ZMD board member told the source. "We just said we'll do one a year."

The five cultural attractions share a $70 million budget, it is even more important to make the most out of each penny. It is important to analyze where its resources are going. Proper enterprise document management can streamline operations between these organizations.

This year, the ZMD board decided to look at the St. Louis Art Museum balance sheet, since it recently completed a $130 million, 210,000-square foot development. However, this audit is not going smoothly because someone at the museum began destroying its financial records, according to a local CBS affiliate.

"Some of those financial records were never produced and if those were destroyed during the course of the investigation then I think that verges on criminal activity," Charlie Valier, another ZMD board member explained. "We know that a number of the files at the History Museum were destroyed."

Destroying paperwork during any investigation is considered a crime, and the ZMD board hopes to get to the bottom of this soon through the assistance of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.

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