MDA Statement on Congratulatory Letters
JACKSON, Miss. (June 6, 2005) – The following statement can be attributed to Scott Hamilton, director of communications for Mississippi Development Authority.
Since 1995, MDA has sent letters to Mississippi companies on behalf of the Governor regarding significant milestones. This practice was stopped in January of this year by the MDA management team due to the lack of controls of the process.
Criteria used for the preparation of Governor’s Letters of support to new and existing industries and businesses were as follows:
The Existing Industry and Business (EIB) Division, through the Manufacturers Cross-Match Program, utilizes Magnolia Clipping Service and other sources to furnish articles dealing with various business honors, awards, new openings, corporate mergers, expansions, etc., of new and existing industries and businesses.
Based primarily on these articles, and on any information provided by the various economic development contacts used in virtually every county, candidates for letters from either the Governor or the Executive Director of MDA were selected to reflect a mix of economic development of the State both geographically and from a sense of personal or corporate achievement.
Approximately 6-12 articles were selected each month for a letter response to the business or industry from either the Governor or the Executive Director. These letters were not reviewed or approved by the governor or his office.
In the case of Mississippi Beef Processors, an article in the Clarion-Ledger (notation: 08/15/04) was used to begin the process of a Governor’s Congratulatory Letter. The company was called in September 2004 to verify information. The letter was sent to Word Processing for typing on September 30, 2004, with a date of October 13, 2004. Also, in October 2004 the company was contacted (notes indicate Owner Richard Hall was phone-contacted personally) and employment was verified at 429. The company was then entered into the Manufacturers Database on October 15, 2004.
About Mississippi Development Authority
Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741