The auditing firm hired to investigate management of an Oklahoma City bombing relief fund has established a toll-free information line people can call if they have concerns about how the money has been administered.
The telephone number is (855) 858-3344.
“A confidential phone line can be a useful investigative tool,” said Jim Snyder, managing partner of BKD Forensics & Valuation Services. “We've used these in other investigations and found them to be useful and helpful.”
Springfield, Mo.-based BKD, LLP was hired by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to perform an independent investigative review of the foundation's management of a $10 million fund created for the benefit of survivors of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
The forensic auditing firm was retained after some bombing survivors publicly accused foundation staff members of sometimes unjustly rejecting survivors' requests for money for education, medical treatment and other assistance.
BKD officials are encouraging anyone with pertinent information about the fund's administration to call the toll-free number and leave a recorded message.
Callers may remain anonymous or can choose to provide their names and contact information, officials said. BKD officials stressed that it is important for the messages to be detailed, including names, dates and places, when possible.
Snyder said the telephone line will be active for at least 30 days, and perhaps much longer, depending on the course of the investigation. Messages will be monitored daily, he said.
The Oklahoma City Community Foundation oversees the Disaster Relief Fund, one of many charitable funds established in response to the bombing, which left 168 dead and hundreds injured.
More than $40 million in donations flooded into various Oklahoma organizations after the disaster. Much of the money was quickly spent, but about $14.6 million eventually was consolidated into the foundation to provide for the long-term needs of bombing survivors.
The foundation since has distributed about $11.1 million for the benefit of more than 900 individuals, but still has about $10 million because of interest on investments.
Some bombing survivors have been pushing to have remaining funds divided among survivors.