UPDATE: WEDC leader says agency needs more oversight - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: WEDC leader says agency needs more oversight

Posted:

MADISON (WKOW) -- Before stepping down as the Secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation at the end of this week, Paul Jadin told a legislative committee Wednesday morning that the agency should have more thorough reporting requirements.

"I would suggest that the more clear and concise direction you can give to any economic development agencies the better," Jadin told members of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

The Republican-led legislature created the WEDC in 2011 at the request of Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin). to replace the Department of Commerce and spur job creation across the state.

But the WEDC is not required to report certain specifics to the legislature, including the number of jobs it creates or where those jobs are located.

It also doesn't have to show lawmakers which companies are receiving tax benefits and how much those benefits are worth.

Republicans blocked efforts by Democrats to require that disclosure at the time the agency was created.

"For an agency that spends almost a quarter of a billion dollars in economic development money, its striking how little transparency their is with that," said Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee), a member of the JLAC.

"Would you say that you support these and encourage the next legislature to bring these up and adopt these for your department?", Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D-Fort Atkinson) asked Jadin.

"Yes and yes," replied Jadin.

Jadin is leaving WEDC to lead Thrive, a Madison-based regional economic development agency.

He announced his resignation on September 21st.

Just five days later, Secretary Jadin found himself trying to explain why federal officials from U.S. Housing and Urban Development were calling his agency out on some financial issues.

That included the WEDC's failure to check the financial soundness of two Wisconsin companies, before it awarded them over $1 million in grants.

On Wednesday, Jadin told the JLAC his final report to them will include all of the information Democrats originally wanted to see.

"All of that stuff is fairly common sense and we do believe its appropriate," said Jadin.

********

MADISON (WKOW) -- Before stepping down as the Secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation at the end of this week, Paul Jadin told a Legislative committee Wednesday morning that the agency should have more thorough reporting requirements.

Jadin told the Joint Legislative Audit Committee that he agrees with a June 2012 Legislative Audit Bureau report which recommends the legislature modify state statute to require the WEDC to include more information in its annual reports.

Chief among the LAB's recommendations is a requirement that WEDC report the location of each job created or retained in the state as a result of an economic development program.

The LAB also recommends WEDC report the amount of all tax benefits allocated and verified by a program and identify the recipients of those benefits.

Democrats on the JLAC told Jadin they had tried to get such requirements included in Act 7, which created the WEDC in 2011, but were blocked by Republicans.

Paul Jadin announced last month he is leaving his job at the WEDC to run Thrive, a Madison-based regional economic development organization.

WEDC was recently called out by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency for mishandling certain financial dealings, some of which dated back to the former Department of Commerce which WEDC replaced.

Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann was at today's hearing and will have reports on 27 News at 5 and 6.

 

 

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WKOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Anna Engelhart at 608-661-2767. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.