As noted in my May 22nd “Breaking News” posting, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently issued a critical performance evaluation of public benefit corporations. To address an extensive array of problems he is now calling for legislation to encourage some 114 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) “to do a better job of highlighting the economic benefits of the projects that receive tax breaks and improve effectiveness and enhance accountability.” This legislation will require all agencies to publish annual report cards and also specifies claw back provisions to recover losses and the accurate disclosure of employment information etc.
Additional legislation dealing with Local Development Corporations is also endorsed that will restrict LDCs from financing local governments and compensating officers or employees.
In my opinion the need for such legislation will be hardly productive. The problems identified in the performance evaluation are systemic and well identified in numerous audit reports issued by both DiNapoli’s office and the office of the Authorities Budget Office. To fully understand the seriousness of the need for real reform, please read my latest column “Taking risk with other people’s money.”