A new bill, the American Red Cross Sunshine Act, is currently pending approval in the House of Representatives. The bill would demand more oversight of how the Red Cross uses its funds, including audits by three inspectors general, and an annual report done by the Department of Homeland Security. The bill was sparked by the Red Cross’ resistance to an inquiry by the Government Accountability Office, requested by Representative Bennie Thompson after the Red Cross’ failed responses to Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and Superstorm Sandy.
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‘American Red Cross Sunshine Act’ Would Open Charity to Outside Scrutiny
A House bill is being released today along with a government report citing a lack of oversight about how the charity spends the millions of dollars donated by Americans.
Justin Elliott and Laura Sullivan, ProPublica
September 16, 2015
The proposed American Red Cross Sunshine Act comes in response to a government report, also being released today, that finds oversight of the charity lacking and recommends Congress find a way to fill the gap.
Though the Red Cross has a government-mandated role responding to disasters, “no regular, independent evaluations are conducted of the impact or effectiveness of the Red Cross’s disaster services,” the Government Accountability Office report found.
The inquiry cites reporting by ProPublica and NPR about the Red Cross’ failures during Superstorm Sandy and misleading statements by CEO Gail McGovern about how the group has spent hundreds of millions of donated dollars.
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