ormation." BKD interviewed 69 individuals during the investigation, including current and former KBA employees and board members, current and former lawmakers with knowledge pertaining to the KBA, and persons and companies doing business with the KBA.
Watkins continued, "The KBA has made significant investments to establish bioscience as a core industry in the state, including supporting universities and companies that are creating high-paying jobs here. The audit explains how this work has been done—in most cases very well. The board intends to learn from the findings and take the organization to increased levels of performance and accountability."
Watkins noted that the BKD report found that KBA operations are sound:
- The investment process and Investment Committee are thorough in their review of grants and investments (page 66);
- The KBA investment process is sufficiently diligent to prevent the improper approval of a grant or investment (page 66-67);
- No grants or investments to client companies were deemed inappropriate or in violation of KBA's Conflict of Interest policy or the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 (KEGA) which defines the parameters of the KBA (page 67);
- A thorough process was followed in establishing the Bioscience Growth Fund in seeking to provide Kansas bioscience companies access to venture capital (page 91);
- The level of documentation, organization and completeness of KBA files related to contracting with third parties improved over the years and most exceptions occurred in the early years of the KBA (page 132);
- There were no material adverse findings related to the numerous additional allegations made directly to BKD.
BKD identified several issues related to the leadership and activities of former KBA president and CEO Tom Thornton, who left the Authority in April 2011, including:
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|SOURCE Kansas Bioscience Authority|
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