Brownback Administration Played Role In KBA Audit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Documents exchanged by the Kansas Bioscience Authority and Gov. Sam Brownback's administration show how the administration insisted on expanding the scope of a forensic audit into the agency's activities.

The documents include letters from Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman to auditors and KBA officials. They show investigators were
asked to probe how the authority was making its investments, potential conflicts of interest, personnel decisions and how job creation figures were determined.

Auditors from BKD Forensics and Valuation Services released their findings Monday. The most serious allegations questioned the management and spending of former president and CEO Tom Thornton, who resigned in April 2011.

However, the audit also raised questions about the appropriateness of payments on small contracts to vendors, many stemming from the organization of the KBA starting in 2004.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two more legislative committees are taking their turn at hearing the results of an audit of the Kansas Bioscience Authority.

Investigators spent nearly a year looking into the authority's finances and allegations about its former president and CEO, Tom Thornton. Their findings were released Monday.

On Wednesday, the House and Senate commerce committees will hear from the auditors and the KBA's current leadership.

The authority distributes millions in state tax dollars to emerging bioscience companies. The outside, which cost the authority $960,000, found instances of document destruction, misuse of funds and questionable management by Thornton, who resigned last April.

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