The state’s jobs creation agency is apparantly not tracking firms which outsource jobs despite getting state funding. Robert Kraig with Citizen Action of Wisconsin said the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation adopted a 30 day advanced notification policy in 2014.
“They promised accountability and transparency, that they would have all companies have to give 30 days notices if they were going to outsource jobs out of Wisconsin or reduce the number of net jobs while they were taking job creation money from the public,” Kraig said.
Kraig fired an open records request on behalf of Citizen Action — and said WEDC staff found zero 30 day notifications on file.
“When I made the open records request, the lawyers over there had to spend 11 hours going through each individual fire folder for each company, so they weren’t even aggregating the information,” he said. “There have been several major companies that were taking public money for job creation, that have outsourced jobs since 2014.”
WEDC spokesman Mark Maley responded to WRN’s request for comment.
WEDC has a number of safeguards in place to ensure that only companies that create and maintain jobs in Wisconsin are eligible to earn and retain financial assistance from WEDC. WEDC is committed to full transparency and accountability with respect to its financial awards and receives regular performance reports—including financial statements and payroll data—from companies that benefit from our programs. The economic development outcomes of WEDC’s investments are highlighted in a searchable online database of our awards.
Companies that fail to fulfill their contractual obligations, as demonstrated in their reporting to WEDC or through site visits, are subject to clawbacks or denial of tax credit claims.
In WEDC’s October 2015 Board of Directors meeting, agency staff provided an update on contract monitoring, including servicing, closeout and penalty provisions. WEDC continues to monitor open contracts and will determine the necessary actions to be taken in cases of non-compliance.
WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan will further discuss these safeguards in an upcoming July board meeting.