A recent audit says the state has mishandled an economic development program. And in response, Gov. Sam Brownback says his administration will look at possible changes.
The Kansas Department of Commerce administers the PEAK program, short for Promoting Employment Across Kansas. It provides tax incentives for companies creating jobs in the state. The audit says the program overspent its $6 million budget for incentives last fiscal year by $1.5 million. Gov. Brownback says his office is studying the report.
“We’re trying to be very aggressive on growing jobs," says Brownback. "But I think the audit identified weaknesses in the accounting trail on it, and so we need to strengthen those. I think we should, and we will do that.”
Auditors say it is difficult to asses the benefits of PEAK because not enough data about the program has been compiled. Commerce Secretary Pat George told a legislative committee that he disagrees with some conclusions in the audit but agrees there are some shortcomings.