The Legislative Audit Bureau found the Department of Revenue did not follow eligibility requirements when distributing COVID-19 relief grants to 45 businesses.
The nonpartisan audit agency reviewed 172 grants out of nearly 100,000 awarded to small businesses, restaurants and lodging, representing $4.1 million out of the total $596 million.
The LAB cautioned that the review was not based on a randomly selected or statistically valid sample.
“It is not appropriate to extrapolate the results of our review to all grants that DOR awarded,” LAB wrote in the Nov. 29 report.
In a statement, the Republican leaders of the Legislature’s audit committee reiterated that the LAB’s findings are not representative of all grants awarded. Revenue Secretary Peter Barca noted the 172 grants are “less than 0.2% of those issued.”
Barca told auditors the Revenue Department “successfully stopped 28,605 fraudulent grants” and was recovering the $475,000 in improperly awarded funds.
Wisconsin Legislature: Legislative Audit Bureau: We’re All In and Wisconsin Tomorrow Programs
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State audit says 45 pandemic grants went to ineligible businesses, a small fraction of overall assistance