Chesterton Tribune



Review says state agency needs stronger contractor oversight

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The state development agency should have had stronger oversight over a contractor it hired to invest taxpayer money in promising startup companies that directed $800,000 to two businesses run by the contractor's chairman and his son, according to an independent review released Friday.

Gov. Mike Pence' ordered the review by the auditing firm KPMG after an investigation by the Indianapolis Star found Elevate Ventures directed the money to a pair of companies connected to Elevate chairman Howard Bates and his son. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. hired the company in 2011.

The Indianapolis Star reports the review found Elevate was "substantially compliant" with its own policies, but it also found two non-compliance issues and made 25 recommendations to strengthen the private nonprofit investment manager's policies and procedures.

Among the recommendations are that IEDC be given final say over the contractor's investment decisions and that the centralized powers of Bates, a well-connected businessman and Republican campaign donor, should be more broadly distributed among an executive board. The review also said Elevate Ventures and the IEDC should review documentation related to conflicts of interests.

Pence said he has asked Elevate Ventures and the IEDC to implement the recommendations immediately.


Posted 11/1/2013