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Charities try to avoid freedom of information scrutiny

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 12:13:48 CST

Charities that get money from Illinois government would have to open up their records to the public under a measure proposed by a state legislator. The proposal would consider nonprofits "public bodies" if they get state funding.   Laurel O'Sullivan, with the Donors Forum, objects. She says it's impractical and unnecessary because nonprofits already have to make much of their financial, compensation and other information available to the public. She also says if nonprofits have to follow the Freedom of Information Act, for-profit companies that get state contracts or grants should also be included:


"And that could have far, unintended consequences ... could extend to newspapers for instance that receive state funding to put ads on Illinois Lottery, it could have unintended consequences for hospitals and nursing homes and privacy restrictions."

O'Sullivan also says it would add an extra expense, at a time when many organizations are already struggling.

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