Audit should end talk of Oklahoma City bombing fund being mismanaged

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: March 24, 2013
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Suppose that this $10 million were liquidated, with each victim or survivor getting a piece of it. Such a dispersal would satisfy the professional victims only for the time it takes for them to form a new grievance over how they should have gotten more than another victim. Suppose a victim or a first responder (police officer, firefighter) comes forth in the future and needs help treating post traumatic stress syndrome. The money would be gone.

More than $11 million has been spent to date by the foundation for bombing-related expenses and the peripheral donations such as the Joplin tornado. This money came from private donors, not the government. It was consolidated into a single fund administered by the foundation. This was a thoughtful approach to what could have become a circus of competing, duplicative claims.

Response to the bombing set what came to be known as “The Oklahoma Standard.” As we noted in December, complaints about the fund administration fly in the face of that standard and the wrangling could discourage people from donating when future tragedies occur.

Of course, the victims and their media allies will say that the foundation's supposedly stingy disbursement of funds will have that same chilling effect. We believe that rational, professional, audited fund management is preferable to a helter-skelter of smaller funds or a federal government takeover of all disaster mitigation efforts.

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has done what it was asked to do in responsibly spending donated money for victims and survivors. It will continue to do so.

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