New law allows state comptroller to audit local development corporations

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ALBANY – The State Comptroller’s Office will now have the authority to audit local development corporations across the state.

LDCs operate in counties, cities, towns, villages, and other local governments throughout the state for economic development purposes. The change in the law was prompted by a bill sponsored by Senator James Skoufis (D, Woodbury) following a report on public authorities released by his Senate Investigations Committee. All too frequently, LDCs have been riddled with corruptions, resulting in a significant waste of taxpayer dollars, he said.

The report found that in 2018, LDCs compiled $20 billion in outstanding debt and said that expanding the scope of potential audits by the comptroller would provide greater assurance that private entities are acting in the public interest.

“This bill is a critical step in rooting out corruption and inefficiencies in LDCs,” said Skoufis. “My report into public authorities made it glaringly clear that this system has allowed private entitles to cheat taxpayers and is in desperate need of wholesale reform,” he said. “New York State’s residents are warranted far more accountability and responsibility with their money, and by giving the state comptroller the authority to audit LDCs, we’re moving towards providing the transparency that our constituents deserve.”

“When organizations rely on taxpayer resources to operate, they should be subject to oversight and be held accountable. With this new authority my office can audit local development corporations and make certain they are operating efficiently and creating real results for taxpayers.”

The bill goes into effect immediately.