NY audit criticizes Empire State Development outcome reporting

May 17, 2017
Originally published on May 17, 2017 1:03 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News) - A new audit from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is blasting Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development agency for failing to meet more than half of the reporting requirements for its highly touted tax credit and job creation programs.

The scathing report released Wednesday criticized Cuomo's Empire State Development Corp. for sidestepping accountability and transparency.

Auditors found 27 of 57 outcome reports weren't finished and 93 of 152 program reports were never completed. The latest annual report on START-UP NY was issued 91 days late and 12 programs totaling over $500 million in state funds weren't reported on at all.

DiNapoli says in most cases the agency didn't explain why reports were missing.

The agency disputes the findings and says it has worked to comply with reporting requirements. A spokesman for ESD, Jason Conwall, called the audit "a politically motivated" audit that cherry-picks information and misrepresents the agency's efforts.

He says ESDĀ holds itself to the highest standards and consistently follows "robust standards of transparency and disclosure."