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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Transparency is Key

A recent Washington Post article reports that Senator Charles Grassley is proposing a bill that would increase the Smithsonian Institution’s accountability to the public. The Senator’s proposal comes after expense reports for Lawrence Small, the Smithsonian’s Former Secretary, were publicly questioned. Although the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents ultimately determined the questioned expenses were reasonable, we wonder if the Smithsonian had been more transparent from the beginning, might it have avoided all this negative attention? If so, perhaps then the American people would not have doubted what we at Charity Navigator already know - that that Smithsonian is in good financial health. It’s just further evidence that transparency and accountability is important to donors, and without it, even financially healthy charities can be called into question.

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