Saturday, September 13, 2008

NY To Consider Requiring Nonprofit Board Volunteers to Make Financial Disclosures

The September 13, 2008, issue of the New York Times has an article about the new York City Council's consideration of a proposal to require people who sit on nonprofit boards to make detailed public disclosure of certain personal financial information.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Last month, the city’s Conflict of Interest Board, which administers the disclosure process, sent letters to the American Museum of Natural History (Mr. Michaels, the television producer, serves on its board), the Gracie Mansion Conservancy (where Mr. de la Renta serves), and dozens of other nonprofits, notifying them that their officers and directors may have to file financial information by October.

The conflicts board was doing so in order to comply with a provisions of a little-known state law called the Public Authorities Accountability Act of 2005.

Protest letters and calls soon followed. And at least three nonprofit organizations, one being the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, where David Rockefeller and Robert De Niro are trustees, challenged the finding and wriggled off the list.

Now Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who chafes now and then about how much he has to reveal about his own finances, has taken up the cause of the city’s civic-minded elite. He is pressing for city legislation at the urging of the conflicts board to take some of the sting out of the state law by authorizing a shorter form for the nonprofit groups.

For the entire story, see "Note to Civic-Minded: Prepare to Reveal Riches" in the September 13, 2008, issue of the New York Times.


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