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Wisconisn Governor Scott Walker gestures as he addresses the second session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012 REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
One of Scott Walker's big attempts to boost job creation as governor of Wisconsin was dismantling the state's commerce department and handing over many of its functions to the public-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The job creation hasn't gone that well, and that's not the only thing wrong at the WEDC. An audit finds huge problems at the agency, problems so big even some of its original supporters are calling for changes.
The agency did not consistently follow the law or existing policies when making awards, and had no policies for determining how to handle delinquent loan amounts, the audit said.

It lacked invoices or other contractually required documentation showing authorized costs for seven of 29 grants reviewed, the audit said. Four contracts gave $906,000 total in tax credits for job creation and employee training that had already occurred, the audit said.

Twelve of 14 recipients of grant and loan contracts worth at least $100,000 did not submit verified financial statements as required by law, the audit found.

A previous audit was done by an accounting firm that turned out to also be representing a company in the process of getting an award from the WEDC.

Reed Hall, the WEDC's CEO, says that some of the issues identified by the audit may be a result of the agency's status as a public-private partnership creating a lot of gray area in which things that would be legal obligations for a state agency are not for the WEDC. Which is probably more of a feature than a bug as far as Walker is concerned. When you've got a governor who's interested in handing over economic power to the private sector, the giant gaping gray areas in a privatization venture probably didn't happen by accident.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed May 01, 2013 at 12:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Daily Kos.

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