Friday, May 19, 2006

Relative ethics...

So I wake up to this headline in our local paper (The State-Journal Register)

"Audit Slams Conservation Foundation." Nice way to start your day.

Turns out that the Illinois Conservation Foundation had been audited and found having made 13 accounting mistakes, some as large as $450,000 and also operating without a budget in FY 2005.

For background the Foundation is the grantmaking arm of the Illinois department of Natural Resources and is a 501(c)(3).

Some purchases that the (now former) ED had made included cigars, hunting clothing, golf fees, and membership in a hunting organization...none of which followed the foundation's own purchasing policy. When questioned, the former ED said,

"There's noting in the audit that bothered me. The main crux of the audit was that we weren't acting like a state agency, when we are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization."

Soooooo, while government can't be corrupt (hahaha), nonprofits can?

At least the board fired this guy.

Then I had more fun. I went to the Foundation's website, looking for its budget, or even the audit, figuring that the real story might be different than that reported in the paper. Ah! A link to "audit"! Click. "404 Error, file removed, or no longer available".

Cool. And our Governor is all about transparency, apparently only when the news is good.

So, I took the longer route, going to the Auditor General's site and found the audit easily, and read it. Ugh.

Here it is if you are interested in seeing what an organization out of control looks like.

Wonder if the board will suffer any repercussions?

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