by Amanda Griffin-Johnson
Grant transparency in Illinois is vital to ensure that state spending is being used as efficiently and effectively as possible. Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 3773 would strengthen the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal statute to include grant recipient information collection and reporting.
What would this bill do?
- It would post the purpose and results of grants to nonprofit organizations on the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal, giving taxpayers, legislators and media an additional level of transparency and accountability regarding how the state spending money on grants to nonprofits.
- It would ensure state dollars are going to the best and most cost-effective service providers and shed light on waste, fraud and abuse.
- It would better allow nonprofits to compete for scarce state funds to give the state the best value.
- It would help improve the trust between taxpayers and the state government by shedding sunshine on information in a uniform manner that is not currently easily available to the public.
How would the process work?
The full report on grant transparency is available here. To read the press release related to SB3773, click here.
- The bill would require the development of a standardized grant recipient data collection form to be given to all state agencies that award grants.The data collection form would provide grant recipient information such as contact information, a breakdown of funding sources by government type and a statement of grant goals.
- After a grant is disbursed, the grant recipient must submit to the granting state agency the completed grant recipient data collection form, a completed grant application, if one was required by the state agency, and a copy of its publicly filed IRS form 990, if the grant recipient is a tax-exempt entity. These documents would be posted to the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal, linked to the grant contract number.
- Within three months of the end of the grant recipientís fiscal year in which they received the grant, grant recipients would have to report on the outcomes achieved with the grant, an assessment of the total and unit costs incurred to achieve the stated outcomes and a table of expenditures by category type. These documents would be posted to the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal, linked to the grant contract number.
- Failure to comply with these provisions would result in the grant recipient being placed on a non-compliance list, which will be publicly posted on the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal. Archives of the non-compliance list will be available online for the public to view.
- If the grant recipient remains on the non-compliance list for more than two consecutive months, then it will be placed on a suspension of funding list and no disbursements of state grants funds will be made to the grant recipient until the grant recipient is back in compliance.