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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency – Project Management (2015M-62)


Released: September 11, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the IDA’s process for evaluating, approving and monitoring projects for the period January 1, 2013 through February 17, 2015.

Background

The Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency is an independent public benefit corporation created under New York State General Municipal Law. The IDA is governed by a Board of seven members who are appointed by the County Board of Supervisors. For our audit period, the IDA reported 32 active projects with reported capital investment totaling approximately $873 million.

Key Findings

  • WCIDA did not adequately evaluate, approve or monitor projects, and did not properly bill for administrative fees; did not consistently follow criteria established in the Uniform Tax Exemption Policy (UTEP); and did not ensure that all projects were permissible IDA projects in accordance with statutory requirements.
  • WCIDA has not ensured that the Center Street Business Center project converting 28,000 square feet of a vacant mill into an office building is for a proper IDA purpose.
  • Officials did not adequately monitor their sponsored projects to ensure that they achieved, or made reasonable progress toward, targeted capital investment, employment projections or other goals stated in their applications.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish and adopt policies and procedures critical to project evaluation criteria on which to base project approval decisions; review and update the UTEP to reflect these criteria; and ensure all approved projects are permissible in accordance with statutory requirements.
  • Review with WCIDA legal counsel whether the Center Street Business Center project is a permissible IDA project even though WCIDA has not confirmed that entities other than governmental and not-for-profit entities will be tenants in the building. If WCIDA is advised that it is not a permissible project, determine what actions to take.
  • Develop procedures to ensure that businesses’ annually reported data is evaluated to appropriately monitor performance and take appropriate action if their performance is less than anticipated or if required information is not received.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236