Audit: Less than 20 percent of Kansas Economic Development Fund money spent as intended in fiscal 2018 Featured

Audit: Less than 20 percent of Kansas Economic Development Fund money spent as intended in fiscal 2018 KVOE News file photo

A recent audit report from the Kansas Legislative Post Audit Division says a only small percentage of certain economic development funds are being spent as indicated, and the state either needs to step up its oversight or change its approach to how those dollars are allocated.

The Post Audit Division recently released its findings about the Economic Development Initiative Fund, which uses proceeds from the Kansas Lottery and spent around $42 million in fiscal 2018. Post Audit Manager Kristen Rottinghaus says the state should be following a set of so-called best practices to ensure the money is spent as indicated. It's not.

Post Audit says only about 18 percent of lottery proceeds sent to the EDIF in fiscal 2018 was appropriated as intended by lawmakers. Thirty-four percent was related to economic development but not as intended, while 48 percent was not related to economic development at all. The report does not offer details on which projects received funding as intended and which ones did not.

Auditors are recommending either the creation of an oversight committee to make sure expenditures follow state law or change the law to follow current practices. Click here for a link to the report.

Delay in Kansas Lottery vending machine installation affecting mental health agencies

Separately, lawmakers are paying close attention after delays for installing Kansas Lottery vending machines in different businesses -- which may cut short money earmarked for mental health programs and facilities.

The vending machines should have been installed in stores last year, but the process didn't start until August and the first round of installations may not be complete until March 2020. The Topeka Capital-Journal says the state's network of mental health crisis centers were among several agencies not receiving a dime from vending machine revenues after expecting upwards of $4 million. The law allowing this equipment said mental health centers would get up to $6 million a year through net profits from the vending machines.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services received less than $150,000 by mid-November for its Clubhouse suite of programs. It was supposed to get up to $2 million per year in net profits.

The Kansas Lottery could install around 500 ticket machines in 1,700 businesses statewide by March 2021. Around 270 machines could be installed by next spring.

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