Millions of Pennsylvania tax dollars are going toward creating jobs, but is that money being used efficiently? That is the subject of a report from the Auditor General’s Office.
A 2014 audit found that millions of dollars were going to job creation programs that weren’t creating the jobs promised. A follow-up, though, reveals some changes have been made.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says, “Every dollar invested should be doing what taxpayers expect.”
That 2014 audit of job creation programs at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, or DCED, found nearly half of businesses receiving taxpayer dollars were not creating jobs at the rate they promised.
Executive Deputy Secretary for the DCED, Scott Dunkelberger says, “Our goal is to make sure 100 percent of the jobs that are projected to be created, actually are.”
At the time, Depasquale made 13 recommendations to improve accountability and oversight. He says now, “I am pleased to share that the Department of Community and Economic Development has met each of those goals, in accounting on the return on investment of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds.”
Some of the changes made by the DCED include now having five staff members devoted to tracking whether companies are creating jobs as promised and requiring companies to produce detailed payroll records.
DePasquale tells us, “This is a significant enhancement in accountability.”
Dunkelberger says they will continue to improve how they operate moving forward. “We’re proud that these programs have created jobs for workers and their families in Pennsylvania, in a fair and responsible way.”