Nebraska’s Department of Economic Development (DED) is hiring a chief financial officer, internal auditor, and another lawyer.
The new additions come roughly six months after Courtney Dentlinger was named the director of DED.
“In addition to our own efforts, we’ve had three on-going audits, and they’ve been incredibly helpful to me as a new agency director in determining what improvements we need to make,” Dentlinger told reporters at a news conference.
Those three audits found no major problems, according to Dentlinger, but highlighted the need for better business documentation and internal controls.
“People make mistakes, but if one person has an error or misses something, we need to make sure there’s another set of eyes,” she says.
Dentlinger says the new lawyer is needed to handle a backlog of contract work.
“We have two staff attorneys and in addition to their contract responsibilities, we’re leaning on them for advice on very big issues. So we didn’t have, internally, the number of people that we need in order to continue to provide good customer service.”
DED also is working with the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to share some functions, such as human resources and accounting.
“They’re (DAS) going to be able to provide us additional expertise,” Dentlinger says, “take over the functioning of these roles, which is incredibly helpful for a very small agency, such as DED.”
She says the new salaries will be covered by funding set aside for unfilled positions in the department.
State Senator Jim Scheer chairs the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee, which has legislative oversight of DED.
“I think the Department of Economic Development is moving in the right path,” he says. “What we had before probably needed to be improved.”
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:43]