Grassley Comments on the Appointment to ECFA's New Commission

April 13, 2011


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability names special commission members
Da: Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) has announced the names of the members of the special commission it formed in response to a request from Sen. Chuck Grassley following a Grassley staff report issued in January that focused on the financial practices of high-profile religious organizations. The ECFA formed its Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations to spearhead an independent national effort to review and provide input on major accountability and policy issues affecting such organizations.

Grassley is a senior member and former chairman and ranking member of the Finance Committee, with jurisdiction over tax policy, including tax-exempt policies covering many religious organizations. He made the following comment on the ECFA’s newly announced commission.

“The ECFA is embracing my request for feedback by working to produce an indepth, scholarly analysis that will inform the public and Congress about ways to improve accountability from religious organizations. As this effort develops, I hope people representing as many points of view as possible will participate and offer their perspective. I appreciate the time and energy that the ECFA and all of the participants are volunteering for this cause. Governance reforms are most effective when they originate from within the sector involved than from congressional fiat. That’s something I saw the last time I worked with a coalition on a comprehensive effort like this, through the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector convened by the Independent Sector. That led to some legislation but more self-reform through increased transparency and improved governance. Also, all three outside panels being convened by the ECFA are important because some of the issues raised by my staff report apply to all charities, not just religious organizations.”

The ECFA press release on the commission members is available here. Details of the ECFA’s framework document, including three panels – one compromised of legal experts, one comprised of religious sector representatives, and one comprised of nonprofit sector representatives – is available here.

Source: Senate Committee on Finance, April 13, 2011