GREEN BAY - State lawmakers are calling for a follow up audit of the state's economic development agency to see if it's improved.
As we have reported, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is under fire for how it handled money in its first year.
The recent audit of the public-private partnership has raised questions about the agency's future.
The non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau outlined a number of missteps including failure to adequately track money, and giving it to ineligible recipients.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or WEDC, was created at the request of Gov. Scott Walker to replace the state's Commerce Department.
Part of what the agency does to help spur economic growth and create jobs is provide loans to communities.
Last year, the WEDC implemented a regional loan consolidation program, so cities like Seymour could access a larger pool of loan money.
However, a 100-plus page report by the state's Legislative Audit Bureau outlines a litany of complaints about the agency's practices in 2012.
The report found numerous examples where the agency did not consistently follow the law or existing policies when making awards.
It also said the WEDC had no policies for determining how to handle delinquent loan amounts.
The audit is raising questions on both sides of the political aisle about the WEDC's future, including whether it should continue to receive state funds.
"I would certainly hesitate to give them any new money until we felt far more comfortable with what they're doing with the old money, so at this point, there's a lot of discomfort," said State Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Allouez. Cowles is co-chair of the audit committee.
"We ask that the governor and his CEO appear before the audit committee and if these problems aren't corrected, that we reform WEDC and return to a competent model for the commerce department," said State Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee.
Governor Walker said Thursday the review repeats many things that were already known, and that the agency has begun addressing them.
He added he's asked the WEDC board to create a credit committee to review the loans, particularly the ones that are past due.
"Clearly there's going to be more aggressive efforts. A lot of it's cleaning up some of the things from the old department of commerce. The loans, for example, that they've highlighted, were loans made prior to WEDC. They've got to be more diligent in that regard, more than anything for the confidence of the public out there," said Gov. Walker, R-Wisconsin.
"They say they're going to fix these problems. We will see. We won't know for sure until there's another follow up audit done based on what they say they've done," said Cowles.
Gov. Walker says he's open to a follow up audit.
A hearing on the just-released audit is scheduled for May 9th.
To read the full report, click here.
A Fond du Lac standoff involving shots fired at some area police officers is over.
A Grand Chute firefighter has died in a car crash.
Oral arguments will be held in March in a college baseball coach's lawsuit against his former employer.
Elementary school students in Wisconsin would have at least half an hour of daily physical education under a bill backed by Republican Rep. Chad Weininger, of Green Bay.
The U.S. Supreme Court is questioning whether an Appleton-based airline can be held liable for reporting one of its pilots as mentally unstable and potentially armed. Federal authorities pulled the pilot off a flight on which he was a …
Traffic is flowing again in the Neenah area after a morning crash.