Leading Watchdog Groups Flagged Corruption Risk of Upstate Business Subsidy Contracts a Year Before Indictments

September 27, 2016

In a September 2015 statement eight groups called for ending the use of state controlled non-profits and the state university system for awarding business subsidies.

A year before the indictment of top Cumo aides and important Upstate business leaders, leading transparency and fiscal watchdog groups warned that the state’s use of a mixture of non-profit groups like Fort Schuyler Management Corporation, SUNY Polytechnic and SUNY Research Foundation to award business subsidy contracts “[b]lurred responsibility and reduced the accountability for decisions worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”

In their September 23, 2015 statement the groups wrote:

We wonder, who exactly is making the crucial decisions about who wins these deals? What is the basis of these decisions and how can we be sure that the deals themselves are well conceived and fairly awarded?

In the same statement, the groups recommended “[i]ncreasing overall government accountability and transparency, by … ending the use of state controlled non-profit groups and the state university system in the contract award process.”

The September 2015 letter is downloadable here and was signed by: Citizen Action, Citizens Budget Commission, Citizens Union, Good Jobs New York, League of Women Voters of NY State, New York Public Interest Research Group, and Reinvent Albany.