Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith has acknowledged and apologized for the DECD’s inaccurate and unsupported information about job creation and tax credits.
The inaccuracies in the DECD’s 2017 Annual Report – uncovered by state auditors and reported in April – included overstating the number of jobs created and retained, misreporting information, failing to collect certain required information, and reporting estimates that were off by tens of millions of dollars.
“This is an unacceptable level of errors,” Smith told members of the General Assembly’s appropriations; commerce; and finance, revenue and bonding committees on Tuesday. “Not acceptable to any of us from DECD and certainly not acceptable to the legislature, so we will find a way to make this better.”
While Smith said that Connecticut is “seeing very positive results from the programs we have,” she said DECD and the Dannel Malloy administration “again apologize for the small errors.”
The auditors found that those errors included DECD understating tax credits related to investments in industrial sites by $71 million; exaggerating total credits earned by $14.9 million; understating film production infrastructure tax credits issued by $7.2 million; and overstating film and digital media production tax credits issued by about $1 million. DECD also understated the amount of assistance to manufacturers by $73.8 million in its portfolio by failing to include 14 projects, according to the audit.
Smith said DECD is in the midst of installing new technology to be more consistently correct, as part of the misreporting was due to some data inaccuracies in the organization’s financial system.