The Republicans who control the state legislature want to know why it’s taking so long for some people to get a professional license in Wisconsin.
The Legislature’s Joint Audit Committee on Tuesday ordered an audit of the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Sen. Eric Wimberger, R-Green Bay, said the audit comes after months of stonewalling from DSPS leaders.
“The Department of Administration failed to provide the Audit Bureau with even the most basic documents and information used to make federal funding decisions. The public has a right to know how priorities for this funding were determined and why,” Wimberger said.
DSPS has been facing questions for months about the months-long backlog for some people to get the license they need to work in the state.
DSPS says the average wait time is 45 days, but many professionals say it’s much longer than that.
Democrats at the Wisconsin Capitol on Tuesday said adding an audit to the to-do list at the department will only make things worse.
“DSPS is already understaffed and under-resourced and, given the limited resources available at the department as it is, conducting this audit will almost certainly require diverting those limited existing resources away from processing licenses and credentials and servicing professional organizations and workers across our state,” a group of Democratic lawmakers wrote to the Audit Committee. “If an audit is going to be conducted, then there must be specific measures the Committee is prepared to take to ensure this decision will not get in the way of the important work the department is doing to issue Wisconsinites their licenses.”
Wimberger agreed. He said the people of Wisconsin do need their licenses.
“Our state’s professionals are stuck in limbo while waiting for the Department of Safety and Professional Services to approve their licenses. Families, businesses and our state’s industries deserve answers on how this process can be improved. Government should not be a barrier to gainful employment,” Wimberger added.