Legislative Auditors Unable to Verify Business Success Numbers

South Carolina State HouseCOLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – State auditors say they can’t verify job success numbers touted by South Carolina’s Small Business Development Centers and some workers hired to help potential employers lack a college degree.
The Legislative Audit Council reported Monday it can’t fully answer legislators’ questions because it couldn’t access the program’s client database.
The network’s director, Michele Abraham, contends doing so would violate federal law. The centers answer to the U.S. Small Business Administration, which told auditors in a May letter it needs written consent from each client.
The centers report advising 4,750 small businesses and entrepreneurs last year, helping launch 183 new businesses. Abraham says the numbers go through a several-step confirmation process and are audited by the Small Business Administration.
She says it can be difficult to hire “fully qualified” consultants.

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