November 10, 2010; Source: WDSU | There’s a list that should be a “must-read” for every nonprofit in Louisiana. It’s the one compiled by the state’s auditor that contains names of organizations failing to turn over documents detailing how they’re spending public money.

According to WDSU, the list already contains hundreds of names of nonprofits as well as government agencies, and all of which haven’t yet provided state auditors with financial statements and other required documents. To Deputy Legislative Auditor Joy Irwin, there’s no equivocating: “If the entity gets public funds, I need a report. And if I don’t get a report, they go on the non-compliance list.”

New Orleans Parish has the single largest concentration of non-compliant groups on the list, which can be viewed online here. Getting named for noncompliance puts an organization at risk of more than just public shame. Louisiana law allows the state to assess $1,000 for violations.

At least one legislator would actually like even a harsher penalty. State Rep. Cameron Henry believes delinquent organizations shouldn’t receive any more money until they are removed from the list. The rationale for requesting the information is simple to Irwin, the state’s auditor. “The public should know how that money was spent and that it was spent properly. If there is no way we can find them and find their audit reports, we can’t say.”—Bruce Trachtenberg