Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Draft Report on Reform of White House Faith-Based Office Released

The Washington Post reports that on Saturday the task forces created by the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships released their long-awaited report (full text Word doc.) on reform of the faith-based office. The task forces' 12 recommendations--explained at length in the report-- will be voted on later this week by the full Advisory Council before being sent to the President. Here are the recommendations:
1: Perform a strategic review of government-supported technical assistance and capacity building.
2: Convene and encourage learning communities of social service programs and providers.
3: Develop a strategy to partner with State, county, and city officials.
4: Strengthen constitutional and legal footing of partnerships, and improve communications regarding White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Agency Centers.
5: Clarify prohibited uses of direct Federal financial assistance.
6: Equally emphasize separation requirements and protections for religious identity.
7: State more clearly the distinction between "direct" and "indirect" aid.
8: Increase transparency regarding federally funded partnerships.
9: Improve monitoring of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory requirements that accompany Federal social service funds.
10: Assure the religious liberty rights of the clients and beneficiaries of federally funded programs by strengthening appropriate protections.
11: Reduce barriers to obtaining 501(c)(3) recognition.
12: Promote other means of protecting religious liberty in the delivery of government-funded social services.