What a mess Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s cancer research privatization scheme has become. It looks like nothing more than an transfer of Texas taxpayer money to the well connected few. Via the Texas Tribune, State Audit Exposes More Problems at Cancer Institute.
A state audit has revealed that transparency problems at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas extend beyond the improper review of an $11 million commercialization grant that sparked criminal and civil investigations.
State auditors found business and professional relationships between CPRIT’s management, CPRIT’s commercialization review council, and donors who contributed to the CPRIT Foundation, a non-profit association that supplements the salaries of CPRIT’s executive director and chief scientific officer. They also found three grants that were approved without proper review — the executive director recommended the applications receive grants, but the peer review council did not — for a total of approximately $56.3 million. CPRIT also broke a state constitutional requirement by allowing grantees to report matching funds spent on other projects, rather than the CPRIT-funded research project, according to the audit.
“Weaknesses in CPRIT’s processes reduce its ability to properly award and effectively monitor its grants,” the State Auditor’s Office report concludes. The report recommends that CPRIT address deficiencies in: making award decisions, evaluating grant applications, verifying compliance with matching fund requirements, processing payments to grantees, monitoring grantees’ expenditures, assessing and measuring research progress and managing contract agreements with grantees.
This comes on the eve of his State of the State speech, will CPRIT be mentioned? One reason Perry stays in office is because he always makes money for his partners.
Read the State Auditor’s report here.
Read more about the history of the conservative con, The conservative racket.