Enterprise Florida called out for lack of transparency

Apr 25, 2012

A newly-formed state government watchdog group is calling out Enterprise Florida for possible conflicts of interests and needless secrecy that keeps taxpayers from knowing how the agency spends its money. As Sascha Cordner reports, Integrity Florida says the state’s leading economic development organization could be at risk for corruption.

Enterprise Florida pays millions of taxpayer dollars to businesses as an incentive to locate or expand in Florida to help create jobs. But, a “Corruption Risk report” released by Integrity Florida’s executive director Dan Krassner shows the agency is also trying to operate in secret and has multiple conflicts of interest:

“Enterprise Florida board member companies receive tax incentives and they also serve as vendors to Enterprise Florida. It does not publicly notice all of its board meetings, and they awarded about $6 million worth of contracts to confidential companies in the last year. Those companies still have secret project code-names and Integrity Florida is working to uncover who’s behind the code names.”

While an Enterprise spokesman denied the allegations, Krassner says he’s spoken with Enterprise Florida Secretary Gray Swoope, who’s promised information regarding the agency will be more accessible online by July.