This is a follow up on a 02FEB15 Letter regarding Feed the Children’s Abuses in Guatemala..
The Exceedingly Bad News is that there is no process to redress under-reporting aid, abuse of host populations nor mismanagement and internal theft. When you think about it it makes sense..The damaged parties are not US citizens, any damage or theft (IF proven) would be difficult to collect on or recoup. Very low ROI, full stop.
In any case, here’s the chain. From Embassy to independent Watchdog organizations
Forwarded 04FEB15 Letter to R.E.Barney at US Embassy in Guatemala
Thanks for taking my call. What I am looking for, in contacting the Embassy, is guidance on where to route my specific complaint. I know that these abuses of low pay and short rations are widespread in Guatemala and I am hoping to trigger an audit of the NGO either in country or in the USA.
Below is my letter to CharityWatch.org.. What I am pointing out is that although FTC had every legal opportunity to redress Ms. Garcia-Gracia’s complaint they chose a end around legal process and turned custody of Donor Goods over to neighbor lady..This was devisive, at least. But I believe that turning Donor Goods over to a “unconstituted” party is perhaps an infraction –sufficient to draw fire.
Their internal figure for rations for each child is 15Q
and they regularly pay less than minimum Guatemalan Wage…
Please let me know if there are ways to route this.
I’m sorry I was not able to get back with you as I had hoped yesterday. I ended up having to leave the office to assist with a case. As far as I’ve been able to determine you have a couple of options. A local option is to file a complaint with the Ministry of Labor here regarding their labor practices. Another option, from the US side, is you could write a letter to your congressman or one of you senator asking them to look into the matter, as it appears to be a US based organization.
If you would like a contact with the Ministry of Labor, let me know and I’ll ask my colleagues who you might be able to go to.
Thanks again for your inquiry.
American Citizen Services
US Embassy – Guatemala
Thanks for your reply, Rob.
Rosa already has a Guatemalan lawyer pursuing the Labor violations. As I reported, the litigation has been going on for almost two years
But, I am, frankly, shocked at the lack of oversight that the USA has over foreign NGOs.
How is it that little 501-c-3s are always nervous that their charter can be yanked for being “too political” while the Feed the Children cowboys ride free??? literally raping and plundering????
I told you that I could prove systematic fiscal abuses and you’re telling me that my only option is to write to my congressman, Hon. Sheldon Silver, who is himself under investigation?
I am sorry I am entirely dumbstruck by this reply.
Can you, please, confirm your advice to me that reporting to my LOCAL rep – not even the Oklahoma (home) state representative of the perpetrating NGO — is ALL the and the ONLY advice that the US Embassy provides to citizens for reporting tax fraud in an International NGO like Feed the Children?
Said differently, I am asking if your response —as exceedingly limited as it appears — is the Best Practice for US citizens to invite institutional oversight for multimillion dollar NGOS.
What I am really asking is if it is true that the US Department of State is silent/ignorant in such matters?
From: Lindsey Struck (Support staff Charity Navigator)
Thank you for writing to Charity Navigator and I’m sorry to hear about what
sounds like an exceedingly frustrating set of circumstances. I am the
analyst responsible for Feed the Children’s evaluation on our site. We have
a designation called a Donor Advisory (explained here on our site
this information has also been reported about in a reputable news source.
Alternatively, we suggest you contact the Attorney General’s office in
Oklahoma, the state in which the charity is registered. This may be a good
first step, particularly if you have evidence of theft and sexual
misconduct in their field offices.
Thank you for your commitment to responsible philanthropy,
Lindsey Struck, MA
P: 201.818.1288 x123
C H A R I T Y N A V I G A T O R
America’s Largest Charity Evaluator
I wrote to the US Embassy and they told me to write to my (under invistigation, himself) congressman.
It is amazing to me that there is no part of the STATE Department that monitors international NGO’s. Nor does anyone push me in the direction of the IRS to report the financial mistatements..
Is my perception correct when I assume that there is no entity that actually monitors International Charities..?
This lack goes a long way towards explaining how wild FTC is in Guatemala.