By JOHN RABY Associated Press\r\n\r\nCHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) \u2014 West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore said Wednesday his office will seek greater oversight of an agency that a legislative audit says did not keep adequate records of a loan program intended to boost the state's economy.\r\n\r\nMoore, a Republican who took office earlier this month after defeating six-term incumbent Democrat John Perdue in November, said in a statement that the proposed transparency and accountability measures are aimed at taxpayer funds used by the state Economic Development Authority.\r\n\r\n"As your new Treasurer, I am not going to sit idly by while unelected bureaucrats squander taxpayer money with impunity," Moore said. "As the state's chief financial officer, I have a fiduciary duty to ensure taxpayer funds are spent wisely with absolute transparency and accountability \u2014 and I will do everything within my power to make sure this never happens again."\r\n\r\nIn a report released Tuesday, the West Virginia Post Audit Division noted the failures of the Economic Development Authority's $25 million Non-Recourse Loan Program.\r\n\r\n"In summary, it is the Legislative Auditor's opinion that the Loan Program did not achieve the intended outcomes and what was achieved is difficult to quantify," the report said.\r\n\r\nThe Economic Development Authority borrowed $25 million and used the money from 2002 to 2016 to fund seven venture capital firms that were supposed to invest in the state and create jobs.\r\n\r\nAuditors found that two of the firms never invested in West Virginia and four have entered into receivership. The treasurer's office tried to close out the loan in 2019 but found missing and incomplete records, which led to the audit.\r\n\r\nAuditors said in the report that adequate records of the loan program were not kept, so it wasn't clear how many jobs or businesses were created. It also said $674,222 has been repaid on the principal loan, leaving more than $24 million outstanding.\r\n\r\nCaren Wilcher, associate director of the Economic Development Authority under Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, said the companies raised more than $190 million, including the nearly $25 million from the loan program. Wilcher said five companies invested $41 million in 25 businesses and helped create or retain more than 400 jobs. She said most issues noted in the audit happened under previous leadership.\r\n\r\n"Current leadership and staff at WVEDA were not employed at the inception of the Program," Wilcher wrote in her response to the audit. "Management and staff involved with the inception of the Loan Program have either retired from WVEDA or left state government."\r\n\r\nThe report recommended that any future programs have clear guidelines and benchmarks to assess how it is working.\r\n\r\n"Whether the state received a fair return on investment in terms of job creation and economic development in relation to the roughly $24.5 (million) that remains in unpaid principal is not clear based on the information available," the report said.\r\n\r\nIn his statement, Moore said government "has to stop being reactive to these kinds of situations. The people of our state deserve better."