Oversight law pushed

Here are week’s top nonprofit stories:

* The Senate Finance Committee is considering boosting the IRS budget to audit foundations, stiffening penalties for foundation directors who do not disclose finances, and making it tougher for directors to funnel foundation business to their own firms, the Boston Globe reported March 1. Massachusetts is considering giving its attorney general more power to remove directors or dissolve nonprofits.

* The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif., has published a survey of grantees who rated the foundation and compared it to other foundations, the Mercury News reported Feb. 21. The foundation hopes to spur other foundations to be more open and efficient.

* Many nonprofits aim to link executive pay to performance, but find measuring performance difficult, the San Francisco Business Times reported Feb. 20.

* Foundation silence over scandals involving foundation excess is a scandal, nonprofit critic Pablo Eisenberg says in a Feb. 21 Boston Globe opinion column.

* Responding to charges that some Saudi Arabian charities fund terrorism, the Saudi government is creating an agency to oversee charities’ work abroad, the BBC News reported Feb. 28.

* Billionaires Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Internet search engine Google, plan to establish a charitable foundation that will continue to give nonprofits free advertising on Google’s web site, Reuters reported Feb. 29

* Minnesota’s attorney general is investigating nonprofits that might have made improper loans to officers and directors, Pioneer Press reported Feb. 28. Loans to officers and directors are legal in Minnesota if they advance a nonprofit’s mission.

* The February 23 roundup included a Wall Street Journal report that Provena Covenant Medical Center had lost its tax-exempt status. Provena says it lost its exemption only from local real estate taxes.

— Compiled by Jennifer Whytock

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