Audit of Ag Department Uncovers Problems

A legislative audit of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture has uncovered poor record keeping, questionable reimbursements and other issues with a loan program that may have cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars during the tenure of former Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass, according to findings released this week. The audit was requested by Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick shortly after he took office in 2013. The report also said poor record keeping made it impossible to track the accuracy of a $4 million outstanding balance in the Rural Rehabilitation Loan program. In a news release Monday, Helmick said many of the audit recommendations have already been addressed and the department is working to ensure full departmental compliance with policies and guidelines.