Editorial: Audit on OKC bombing survivor fund moves forward
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, November 30, 2012
11/30/12 at 11:48 AM
Related story: OKC bombing survivors group objects to audit firm.Original Print Headline: Murrah fund
It's good news that a national firm has been selected to conduct an investigative audit of a survivor fund containing $10 million for victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Many questions are out there about the past and future of the fund, as pointed out in a series of stories by Tulsa World Enterprise Editor Ziva Branstetter over the past month.
This week, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, which administers the Oklahoma City Disaster Relief Fund, announced that a Springfield, Mo., company will conduct the audit.
Several survivors have complained to the Tulsa World that the foundation denied their requests to pay for medical care, education costs and other needs they feel are related to the bombing. Others said they had no clue $10 million remained in the fund while they have struggled to pay their own medical expenses.
OCCF has managed the fund for years and claims it has followed protocol in distributing funds for education expenses for children affected by the bombing and for medical expenses related to the explosion that killed 168 people and injured more than 500 others. Yet questions remain on why there is so much money in the fund at this late date. Most similar funds set up in the wake of the 9/11 disasters in New York City, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon no longer operate. Returns on investments on the Murrah fund have been used for other purposes such as the OKC bombing Memorial & Museum and to help victims of other disasters such as the tornado destruction in Joplin, Mo.
An audit may well determine that funds have been administered appropriately. But until the audit is completed by this independent source, questions loom large. Let's get them answered.