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November 29 08:05 AM

Department of Treasury completes NGO Compliance Initiative


The Louisiana Department of the Treasury has concluded its effort to bring 34 delinquent Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) into compliance with a gubernatorial executive order mandating more accountability and transparency in the spending of taxpayer dollars, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy.

As a result, 21 of the organizations, which in total received nearly $2.5 million in taxpayer money, failed to meet their requirements under the law and have been sent to the newly created Office Of Debt Recovery and the Attorney General's Office for immediate legal and collection proceedings.

Additionally, 13 organizations, which had been delinquent in their obligations under the law prior to this effort, came forward with sufficient paperwork to technically satisfy the requirements of the executive order and avoid referral by the Treasury Department for collection action.

Regardless of their resulting status, Treasurer Kennedy exercised his authority under the executive order to refer a majority of the delinquent organizations to the Legislative Auditor for a full review, similar to one conducted last year of the Just Willing Foundation, to ensure that taxpayer dollars were properly spent.

"Even if an organization has technically come into 'compliance,' this does not constitute an endorsement from Treasury of their spending practices," said Treasurer Kennedy. "In fact, I continue to have very serious questions and concerns about the accounting methods of these NGOs, and whether they represent a priority expenditure for the state. Taxpayers deserve a full and thorough review to find out where their money went."

Treasurer Kennedy also announced that he is referring all 34 original NGOs with compliance issues to the Office of Debt Recovery and the Department of Revenue, for a review to determine whether they properly maintained a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt or "non-profit" status, and if not, whether they owe federal or state taxes.

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