Only one bid submitted on Utah business recruiting RFP… conflict possible

State board member is upset that Development Corp. is sole applicant

As some people suspected would happen, the Economic Development Corp. of Utah was the only company to bid on the state’s national corporate and industrial recruitment contract.

And that has at least one member of the Utah Board of Business and Economic Development upset.

Recruitment of new businesses has traditionally been handled in-house by the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development, although EDCU has assisted companies considering Utah for operations. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. wanted the recruitment duties outsourced, and, following a housecleaning at the department in January, EDCU — a nonprofit partnership of private and public business interests — took over the job for free in the interim.

Martin Frey, the department’s co-director, said during a board meeting Friday that requests for proposals were sent to six in-state entities, and board Chairman David Simmons said EDCU was the lone bidder for the contract.

By Brice Wallace
Deseret Morning News

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Biz recruiter conflict possible

By Glen Warchol
The Salt Lake Tribune

An economic development panel Friday raised concerns of perceived conflict of interest in the state’s hiring of a business recruiting company whose former director is now the governor’s top economic advisor.

Members of the Board of Business and Economic Development questioned why the company, Economic Development Corporation of Utah, was the only bidder for the state contract.

Chris Roybal ran EDCU until he was picked by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to be his senior economic advisor. Roybal has removed himself from the bid process, but two of the four members of the contract review group were hired after Huntsman took over the state’s economic development operations.

Historically, the state has done its own recruiting. But Huntsman and Roybal fired most of the economic development leadership shortly after Huntsman took office, saying the state needed a more efficient, business model for economic development.

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