State Treasurer plays hardball with non-compliant NGOs

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy said he will not bow down to political pressure to enforce the laws requiring Non-Governmental Organizations, or NGOs, to provide accountability for the money they are given by state government.

"I don't care who they know, who their friends are my job is to enforce the law and by god I'm going to do it," Kennedy said on Thursday.

Kennedy wants documentation from the more than 30 NGOs who are out of compliance with the contract they signed to get the money. But he understands the political pressure associated with the appropriations.

"I'm not naive, I understand the legislative process," says Kennedy. "Appropriating the money is a political process, I understand that. I've been around here for a while. But having said that the legislature also put it in the law that these organizations have got to make reports to me and give me the documentation."

The state gave out 45 million dollars to NGOs in 2008 but has scaled back to 18 million last fiscal year. According to the state treasurer's office the state handed out roughly 111 million dollars in the last seven years.

"The law requires them to file reports with documentation with my office they haven't done that," said Kennedy. " I've asked them repeatedly. I've just sent out a final round of letters, certified mail return receipt requested. If they don't respond this time I'm going to follow the law and turn this over to the office of debt recovery."

Kennedy has set September 4th as the deadline for non-compliant NGOs to get their paperwork done.