Bill will address need for public scrutiny


State Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, plans to introduce legislation to make the work of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation more transparent to the public.

HSPA likely will support this effort, said association Executive Director and General Counsel Steve Key.

The press association already offered some suggestions for greater public scrutiny for local economic development corporations at the request of state Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City.

Banks told HSPA he will support Delph’s bill as a co-author.

HSPA hasn’t yet determined if Delph’s bill will address only the Indiana Economic Development Corporation or include local economic development corporations, which receive money from local government entities for the purpose of enticing industrial and commercial prospects to locate in Indiana.

Responding to Banks’ re­quest, HSPA suggested the bill address the threshold where the state Board of Accounts can waive the requirement of an audit. The reviews investigate how economic development corporations spend taxpayer funds.

If the entity is subject to an audit, it’s also subject to the state’s public access laws.

HSPA also suggested the requirement of a report detailing corporations’ activity. The report could include:

• Number of companies the economic development corporation contacted

• Number of economic development-related events the entity participated in

• Number of entities that received incentive package offers

• Details on incentive packages accepted by companies to relocate or stay in the county, including dollar amount and purpose of the expenditure.

For entities that accepted an incentive package:

• The name and address of the recipient

• Representations made by the entity in exchange for an incentive package, such as years it will stay in a county, new hires promised and internal investments into the property.

Key doesn’t know whether any of the suggestions will be included in Delph’s legislative proposal.

Bills for the 2013 legislative session are currently being drafted by the Legislative Services Agency.