New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says an initiative designed to spur economic development across the state isn’t living up to its promises.

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DiNapoli says Empire State Development spends about $1.8 billion dollars on loans, grants, tax credit and other financial assistance but has failed to evaluate most of the programs its invested in to make sure they are boosting the economy, creating jobs and initiating business growth.

Kristine Bellino/WIBX News

An audit of ESD claimed the public authority, for the most part, did not monitor or evaluate the programs it funded to make sure the goals set as a prerequisite for the financing were being met.

The Comptroller’s office looked at the Excelsior Jobs Program and START-UP NY that showed positive results but when auditors asked for paperwork to support the claims of success, Empire State Development was unable to come up with documentation.

57 programs are currently administered by the authority while 37 of those are fully tracked in a central database.  The Comptroller’s office wants all those programs tracked in the same place.

Empire State Development counters that a multi-level evaluation process is used and dozens of quarterly and annual reports are regularly issued and published on their website.

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