It’s common knowledge that Wisconsin has been at the bottom or near the bottom in the nation for job creation since 2011, but according to this report from the Associated Press, the job-creating agency Scott Walker oversaw the creation of has more or less been a complete failure.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A blistering audit released Wednesday said Gov. Scott Walker’s premiere job creation agency repeatedly broke state law in its first year of operation, failed to adequately track money it awarded for economic development projects and sometimes gave money to ineligible recipients.
Employees of the public-private entity also made unexplained purchases of University of Wisconsin football season tickets and iTunes gift cards, the far-reaching audit of the nearly two-year-old Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. found.
Other than purchasing football tickets and iTunes gift cards, how did the agency break the law?
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.
State law also requires WEDC’s board to verify the performance information reported by a sample of grant and loan recipients. The audit said no such review was done in the first 18 months of WEDC’s existence.
It also faulted WEDC for not including all the required information, and including some inaccurate information, in its annual report to the Legislature submitted in November 2012. It also did not clearly present information about the number of jobs created and retained as a result of its programs, the audit said.
This isn’t good news for the residents of Wisconsin but, on the other hand, state Republicans can now safely say “See? Government doesn’t work.”