Full transparency and accountability require more than the release of financial statements and 990s.
Due to the misleading statements and conflicts of interest that we have outlined on our site, the ongoing lack of full transparency is a problem for any real kind of accountability.
As of 08/01/2019, we could not find the OnePulse Foundations tax returns anywhere on their site. We got them from ProPublica, click here to see them. Having tax returns publicly and promptly available is typically a standard practice for non-profits and ensures some level of transparency. This is one example of the much broader failure to achieve full and complete transparency.
Furthermore, we are not the first or only voices to demand more transparency or to question the organization's financial practices. Earlier this year, there have been multiple concerns raised over the OnePulse Foundation's lack of financial transparency. WESH 2 even investigated the organization's finances:
In the following video, Representative Anna Eskamani calls for increased transparency for the OnePulse Foundation on WFTV 9 and outlines how ethical non-profit spending is done. Unfortunately, Eskamani did not have a chance to respond to the $150k salary reported by the Orlando Sentinel and evidenced in the organization's tax returns. Instead, they signaled to Poma's prorated salary "because the charity’s board wasn’t organized until May of that year. Poma earned $150,000 in 2018." 990s say Poma earned $109,616.00 (still egregious).
See the entire article with video, here. Other lawmakers such as Carlos Guillermo-Smith, Reps. Darren Soto, Stephanie Murphy, Val Demings, and Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan have also joined in calling for the audit due to a lack of transparency and concerns about spending.
The external financial audit that the OnePulse Foundation started in February 2019 and 990s were released in early August. 990s provide limited information and the completion of this baseline financial audit is insufficient given our concerns. We think a full audit by a forensic accountant is needed to document and publicly disclose daily expenditures, costs, and donations starting from 2016.
Furthermore, for us, complete transparency does not only refer to the organization's financial disclosures as required by law. Due to conflicts of interest and statements that we have called into question, we demand the complete disclosure of all communications between Barbara Poma, survivors, and family members of victims. We want to ensure that misleading or biased communications have not been the norm. For this reason, all private letters sent to survivors and family members should be made public and evaluated by a neutral third party.
Since public money is involved, we also demand that the OnePULSE Foundation begin publishing all meeting minutes, agendas, plans, proposals, emails, board approvals, all financial information, and other documentation that we specify throughout this site. We demand that they make this information public with expediency and as soon as it becomes available going forward. Selective documentation is insufficient.
Questions we want answers to:
1. How often has the Board of Trustees reviewed timely financial reports? Is this process documented since the organization's inception? We demand the immediate release of all timestamped meeting minutes, along with the financial reports themselves, and the dates that they have were reviewed and approved by all board members.
2. Does the OnePulse Foundation have a travel expense reimbursement policy? If so, when was this drafted and published? Are these dates documented? Who drafted any and all policies? Are all travel expenses and reimbursements tracked and documented? Since the OnePulse Foundation has claimed to have visited a number of memorial museums, we want details about how these sites were chosen? Why they were chosen over other mass shooting memorial sites?
3. Does the OnePulse organization have a whistleblower policy? If so, when and by whom was it drafted? When and where was it published? have there been any internal complaints by staff or volunteers about the OnePulse Foundation's financial conduct (documented or not)? We have concerns that previous employees who left the organization due to ethical considerations have been threatened with litigation to not speak out against the organization. You may be able to run a business that way, but you can not run a non-profit that way.
4. We also wish to see all documentation regarding the following information that was published on Guidestar as of 08/07/2019, as we have reason to believe that his information is inaccurate (as noted throughout this site):