Officials: Agencies didn’t track economic development

Lawmaker says system must improve

A new audit says nearly 10 state agencies that administer economic development programs haven’t measured all the results.

The Legislative Audit Bureau found the state spent about $226.5 million on economic development programs in the 2009-2011 biennium. A 2007 state law requires eight agencies to measure the effectiveness of their programs, but the agencies gave auditors information on only 101 of 123 programs active during the biennium. The now-abolished state Commerce Department provided information on less than three-quarters of its programs.

Republican state Rep. Samantha Kerkman co-chairs the Legislature’s audit committee. She said accountability in Wisconsin’s economic development programs must improve.