ESD failed to meet half of reporting requirements for programs, audit finds

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – New York State’s chief economic development agency failed to meet more than half of the reporting requirements for tax credit and job creation programs, according to an audit released Wednesday by state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

DiNapoli said that Empire State Development (ESD) often is late with reporting the results of economic development programs, or doesn’t report them at all.

“We need better reporting to ensure transparency in economic development spending and to promote an informed analysis on the return of the investments state taxpayers make in these programs,” DiNapoli said.

The ESD is mandated to report the outcomes of many of the programs it supervises under various state laws and regulations.

The audit found that the ESD failed to produce many of the required performance and outcome reports- 47 percent- between April 2012 and Sept. 2016.

17 programs requiring independently-prepared evaluations were not evaluated, and 61 percent of program-specific reports were not evaluated. In most cases, ESD officials did not provide an explanation as to why they hadn’t completed the reports.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua) said Wednesday that the comptroller’s report “raises serious questions” about the effectiveness and transparency of state-run economic development programs.

“We need a dramatic change and a genuine commitment to transparency,” Kolb said.

DiNapoli issued several recommendations to the ESD, including to develop and adhere to procedures for meeting outcome reporting requirements and ensuring that all existing subsidiary corporations meet Public Authority Law reporting requirements.
The full audit report can be found here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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