The Board of Chief Local Elected Officials of the Northwest Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board has responded to the results of a state audit that revealed wasteful and extravagant spending by the W.I.B. by suspending the 22 members of the W.I.B., and naming themselves as W.I.B. officers for the 90-day duration of an agency restructuring period.
The six-member Board of Chief Local Elected Officials is made up of one representative of each of six counties served by the agency in this corner of the Commonwealth. Most are county commissioners. The panel elected Venango County commissioner Bonnie Summers to serve as their chairperson for the 90-day period.
The audit by the State Budget Office shows that the amount spent by the Workforce Investment Board on job training dropped by 64 percent during a four-year period ending this July, and the number of people receiving job training in the six-county area fell by 62 percent. Meanwhile, auditors say money was spent on hotels, parties and vehicles, and their audit report accused the W.I. B. of a lack of transparency in the reporting of expenditures, inaccurate accounting procedures and inadequate “internal controls.”
The results of a separate federal audit are pending.