I posted this summary of a few WEDC posts for the folks reading Purple Wisconsin:
Take a few minutes and read through the independent and non-partisan state audit report about the 'performance' of the taxpayer-funded Wisconsin Economic Development Agency.
I've read dozens of public agency audits over the years.
Trust me, this is a doozy, documenting an environment where public funds were handed out by the bushel basket-full free of responsible management, rules, standards, goals, accountability and accounting - - with some revenues forked over to projects that were ineligible.
In fact, the auditors found some project awards were made to businesses that had already completed the work:
From page 4 of the audit:
Program AdministrationWEDC did not have sufficient policies to administer its grant, loan, and tax credit programs effectively, including some statutorily required policies. It had no policies for determining how to handle delinquent loan amounts. In other instances, WEDC did not consistently follow statutes or its existing policies when making awards.We reviewed files for 64 awards that WEDC made in FY 2011-12 and found that WEDC made some awards to ineligible recipients, for ineligible projects, and for amounts that exceeded limits specified in its policies.WEDC lacked invoices or other contractually required documentation showing that authorized costs were incurred for 7 of 29 grant and loan awards that we reviewed.In addition, four contracts executed through the Jobs Tax Credit program allocated four businesses a total of $906,000 in tax credits for job creation and employee training that had occurred before the contracts were executed.While gifts and perks were rung up willy-nilly on bank cards or handed out on whims.
From iTunes cards to Badger football season tickets to Wisconsin Memorial Union chairs worth nearly $300 each.
Remember - - this is the agency that Scott Walker said Wisconsin needed to replace the existing Department of Commerce, and was to be the key implement and implementor of his failing campaign(s) pledge to create 250,000 new jobs and 10,000 new businesses.
Any wonder then that the auditors found that job claims by the agency could not be verified, and that some numbers were double-counted:
....P. 56As noted, information provided by WEDC indicates that WEDC received only 45.0 percent of the contractually required progress reports that specify the numbers of jobs created and retained, some files did not document that the claimed numbers of jobs were actually created or retained, and WEDC did not verify any of the performance measure information submitted by grant and loan recipients.As a result, it is difficult to assess the accuracy and completeness of the number of jobs that WEDC reported having been created or retained.Other program results that WEDC has provided the Legislature and the public do not indicate the numbers of jobs actually created or retained.WEDC’s 2013-15 biennial budget request and FY 2012-13 operations plan indicate that awards WEDC made in FY 2011-12 have resulted in 37,000 “anticipated jobs.”WEDC explained to us that this jobs number includes the combined total number of jobs that would be created or retained if all FY 2011-12 award recipients were to completely fulfill their contractual obligations to create and It is difficult to assess the accuracy and completeness of the number of jobs that WEDC reported having been created or retained.PROGRAM RESULTS AND
....In addition, this jobs number includes the combined total number of jobs that could potentially be created or retained if in the future WEDC were to execute contracts with businesses and other organizations to which it has made only preliminary offers of financial awards.We also note that this jobs number appears to duplicate 3,500 jobs that, if unduplicated, results in a revised total of 33,500 jobs.The whole enterprise reeks of political opportunism on the front end and desperation that followed.
Walker chairs the WEDC governing body. It was and is his baby.
Waiting patiently for his
acceptancedenial of responsibility.