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Commerce Authority names Watson as new CEO (access required)

Commerce Authority names Watson as new CEO <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

An eight-month, $75,000 nationwide search for a new Arizona Commerce Authority CEO ended when the only identified candidate – who worked in the building – was selected and unanimously approved today.

The ACA board today named interim CEO Sandra Watson to the job permanently after more than an hour in executive session.

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Commerce Authority may announce new CEO Tuesday (access required)

Commerce Authority may announce new CEO Tuesday <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

After a search that has spanned most of the year, the Arizona Commerce Authority may be ready to name its new CEO.

The agenda for the ACA’s Tuesday meeting includes public discussion and possible action on the selection of a new CEO. The CEO search is also listed as an executive session agenda item.

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Arizona Commerce Authority transparency criticized by PIRG (access required)

The Arizona Public Interest Research Group yesterday released a report critiquing the Arizona Commerce Authority’s transparency practices, calling on the agency to make more information about subsidy programs available online and to fight for legislative change in areas where the ACA is prohibited by law from disclosing information.

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What finalists?

Though Commerce Authority officials have said they are reviewing whether they will release the names of the finalists being considered in the search for a new CEO, current CEO Don Cardon told our reporter today that the selection committee doesn't even have a list of finalists.

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Commerce Authority backs off controversial ‘stipends’ (access required)

The Arizona Commerce Authority announced late Friday afternoon that it will not be awarding the $5,000 stipends it had earlier promised to15 companies eliminated from a competitive grant program.

The Goldwater Institute’s Clint Bolick sent a letter to the ACA earlier this month, warning that the awards for unsuccessful semifinalists in the agency’s Innovation Challenge could be a violation of a constitutional provision banning government gifts to private companies, unless the money creates a tangible public benefit.

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Commerce Authority shields activity from public (access required)

The Arizona Commerce Authority came into existence nearly a year ago with a vow to be open and transparent, but the economic development agency has not followed through on all of those commitments.

The Commerce Authority has refused to disclose the list of finalists for its CEO position, refused to release information about who vets applicants for a $1.5 million grant program and makes little effort to inform the public of meetings of its numerous subcommittees.

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