State Auditor Completes Dismas Review
LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Dismas Charities Inc. is pleased that after five months, the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts has completed its review of its Board governance policies and procedures.
The review came following criticism of the Board’s decision to lease University of Louisville suites, which were returned to the university.
“On behalf of the Board, our dedicated staff, and the many people and communities we serve across the Commonwealth and this country, we are glad this review is complete,” said Dismas Board Chair Melinda K. King. “Dismas cooperated with the Auditor throughout the process and refrained from any public comment until the review was complete.”
While the Auditor’s report offers recommendations, it’s clear that Dismas is a good steward of its mission. In the review, the Auditor of Public Accounts measured Dismas against the auditor’s 32 recommendations for public and non-profit boards. The report finds that Dismas complies with nearly all of the recommendations and Dismas is in the process of implementing others that are applicable.
The report offered that Dismas declined to supply certain documents. In actuality, Dismas supplied over 1,200 pages of records. Any documents declined were either outside the scope of the review or were directly tied to the very competitive nature of our business which, if made public, would provide competitors an unfair advantage in the bidding process. The proprietary nature of this data was explained to the auditors in detail.
Dismas appreciates the Auditor’s governance recommendations and believes the organization has always been and continues to be well managed. But there is always room for improvement. Last September, the Dismas Board of Directors began a re-examination of its governance policies and procedures. In addition to the auditor’s recommendations, Dismas reviewed policies recommended by national organizations and authorities and revised its policies and procedures accordingly.
The Auditor’s review provided an important opportunity for Dismas to clarify its mission, its role in the community and how it operates. The word Charities in the Dismas name applies not to how Dismas earns its revenue, but rather to how Dismas goes about its work.
As the Auditor’s report clarifies, 97 percent of Dismas revenue comes from competitive government contracts, not from donations. Dismas does not solicit donations for its work. Of its $38.8 million 2009 revenue, less than 0.1 percent, or $15,024, came from donations, all of them unsolicited. The most recent Dismas report to the Kentucky Department of Corrections recorded more than 2 million hours of community service to non-profits and government agencies across the Commonwealth over the last five years.
Since 1972, Dismas has been an exceptional provider of services to the Kentucky Department of Corrections. As noted in the Auditor’s report, our work for the Commonwealth represents only a small part of Dismas’ business. As a national business in 12 states and 28 different communities, Dismas has assumed a leadership position in the field of community corrections. By developing our own technology for case management, implementing biometric accountability processes, using state-of-the-art camera surveillance systems, utilizing risk needs assessments, involving families and offering a wide array of programs, our efforts support community safety and restoration of the offender. As a community partner, Dismas’ every effort is devoted to the positive restoration of the community and the offender.
Although Louisville-based, Dismas is a recognized leader in the field and is nationally known for creation and implementation of state-of-the-art programs and technologies. Dismas is constantly researching new and improved ways in which it and its associated agencies might save time and money through enhanced operations.
As this chapter in its history concludes, Dismas wants the residents of Kentucky and the communities it serves to understand its work and mission. Dismas is committed to restoring offenders to their families and communities as contributing members of society. This is the work we do and the story we will continue to share.
SOURCE Dismas Charities Inc.