The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency is working on new policies following a report on the agency by the State Authorities Budget Office.
IDA CEO Mark Geise said the ABO found a number of policies that needed to be amended or put into place, “There are 14 new policies and seven amended or restated policies. And so, Harris Beach, we’ve been working with them for six-plus months to tweak the ones we have and draft the new ones in order for us to be in conformance with the ABO’s recommendations.”
The report on the CCIDA included a limited evaluation of the operations and activities of the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC) and the Chautauqua County Capital Resource Corporation (CRC).
The ABO said the board members of CCIDA, CREDC and CRC did not provide adequate oversight over management, adopt adequate policies and procedures, and monitor financial and management practices. The report went onto say that the lack of oversight, review, and monitoring by the board members exposes the authorities to unnecessary risk and the potential for misuse of funds.
The report served as a formal warning to each authority and its board members to take immediate action to implement the ABO’s recommendations within ninety days or they will be censured by the ABO.
Geise said there is a work plan for the updates to come into compliance, “The big one is our website. Our website is old, it uses WordPress, whatever version, I’m not an IT guy, but it’s outdated. We’re totally redoing the IDA and affiliates websites and we’re working with a company called CleverMethod. It’s a lot of work but we’re going to have a really nice website at the end of this.”
Geise said these policies will be reviewed in commitee and then come back to the IDA board in September for approval.