A Springfield, Mo., auditing firm has been selected to conduct an independent investigation into the management of a $10 million fund created for the benefit of survivors of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
BKD, LLP has been selected by the audit committee of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to perform the investigative review, foundation officials said Wednesday.
Foundation trustees decided to call for the investigation after a group of bombing survivors publicly accused foundation staff members of sometimes unjustly rejecting survivors' requests for money for education, medical treatment and other assistance.
“Recent news reports have raised questions about services provided to or requested by specific individuals,” said Steven C. Davis, chairman of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation Board of Trustees. “We believe an independent investigative review is an appropriate way to address the reported concerns. We look forward to working with BKD to assure that any legitimate concerns or complaints are addressed and to be certain that any future publicly aired complaints are factually accurate.”
BKD is based in Springfield and has about 2,100 employees located in 29 offices in 12 states, including Oklahoma, according to its website. The company serves clients in all 50 states as well as some other countries.
One of the reasons BKD was selected was because it has a division that “specializes in forensic and investigative accounting services of the type involved in this case,” foundation officials indicated in a news release.
“The investigation will be headed by personnel within that division, which is not based in Oklahoma,” the news release said.
In their engagement letter to foundation trustees, BKD officials said they will be analyzing “certain policies, procedures and practices surrounding the Disaster Relief Fund” and trustees should expect a thorough and independent investigation.
‘Let the chips fall'
“We have advised you that we are not interested in pursuing this investigation unless the board is fully committed to a thorough and complete ‘let the chips fall where they may,' investigation,” BKD officials said. “You hereby confirm that this is precisely what the board desires.”