Audit Finds Problems at TNInvestco

Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty

Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty

The State Comptroller has found serious problems with TNInvestco. It’s a state-backed venture capital fund that’s pumped more than $55 million into nearly 80 firms.

TNIvestco is supposed to turn small companies into business heavyweights with the help of taxpayer dollars, but a comptroller’s audit says the program isn’t accounting for the money it’s spent. That makes it difficult to know how many jobs have been created with the state funds.

Companies are supposed to be reviewed every year. The audit says most of those reviews were one-paragraph memos without supporting documents.

All of the problems found in the audit go back to TNInvestco’s founding, three years ago

Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty says despite the findings, he’s taking a wait and see approach to the program’s effectiveness.

“The answer is they’re creating jobs and businesses, but the question is how robust are those numbers. I think that’s something that builds over time.”

Normally the head of ECD would be in charge of TNInvestco, but Hagerty has a business interest in one of the firms that’s received money. So, he’s recused himself and put another official in charge.

Read the State Comptroller’s audit here. [PDF]

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