World Vision responds on transparency

Editor's note: we are posting the following note received in its entirety from World Vision. World Vision Statement

In response to the Aid Watch post: The Accidental NGO and USAID Transparency Test

World Vision has investigated allegations posted on August 18, 2010 by Till Bruckner, a guest blogger.  The blog post charges WV and other NGOs with lack of transparency in responding to Bruckner’s request to the U.S. Agency For International Development (USAID) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for program budgets for the Republic of Georgia.  Mr. Bruckner alleged that World Vision “apparently requested that USAID black out all information in their budget except for the grand total.”

World Vision has checked thoroughly with all of its relevant offices and found no record of having received notification of this FOIA request by USAID or any evidence that WV asked USAID to redact information in the documents requested of USAID by Bruckner.  After contacting USAID officials, we learned that the redaction was made independently by the USAID FOIA office, not at the request of WV.

The reasons for the redactions done by USAID were detailed to Bruckner in a letter from USAID dated July 14, 2010.  World Vision has obtained a copy of this letter and has verified that USAID did not state or imply that World Vision asked that this information be withheld.

We regret that Mr. Bruckner did not get all the information he was seeking.  It is also regrettable that he chose to suggest in his blog that WV had withheld that information when he had no evidence to support that accusation.

As a member of InterAction (one of the largest associations of nongovernmental organizations), World Vision is “committed to full, honest and accurate disclosure of relevant information concerning its goals, programs, finances and governance.”