05 October 2008

Transparency and Accountability

Welcome back!

The IRS has been in the process of updating its reporting requirements for nonprofit organizations. Specifically, on the filing of Form 990. We had thought that by now the process of changing the form and pubic comment would have been completed. However, they seem to still be in the process of revision and completion of that work. They do have some new items posted for nonprofit including this, on transparency and accountability:

By making full and accurate information about its mission, activities, finance, and governance publicly available, a charity encourages transparency and accountability to its constituents. The Internal Revenue Code requires a charity to make its Form 1023 exemption application, Form 990, and Form 990-T, available for public inspection. The Internal Revenue Service encourages every charity to adopt and monitor procedures to ensure that its Form 1023, Form 990, Form 990-T, annual reports, and financial statements, are complete and accurate, are posted on its public website, and are made available to the public upon request. Organizations that file Form 990 will find that Part VI, Section C, Lines 18 and 19, ask whether and how an organization makes its Form 1023, Form 990 and Form 990-T, governing documents, conflict of interest policy, and financial statements available to the public.

--Governance and Related Topics - 501(c)(3) Organizations, Posted February 4, 2008. irs.gov

For a board that uses the Policy Governance system, the board level policy document will nicely serve as one of the governance process documents to be made publicly available.

Your ideas matter here! Please leave a comment.


IndyChristian said...

Thank you for posting this, Glen.

And generally I'm in agreement with IRS requirements for transparency & accountability... as long as they don't make charities disclose (publically) names of indigents they're helping.

In fact, in general, I'm elated that the internet has created more transparency (and accountability will follow) in 'the Church'.

"Truth will prevail... and Truth at the speed of light will prevail at the speed of Light."

Glen Peterson said...

One thing that I have noticed in working with groups is that I need to explain the meaning of accountability outside the context of someone "getting caught." I don't think that people don't know, but there seems to be a universal reaction to the word "accountability" to that meaning.

Thanks for your comment. Glad you are reading.