The Office of Personnel Management is publishing a final set of regulations to amend the Combined Federal Campaign with the aim of making it easier for federal employees to contribute to the charities of their choice.
“These new regulations will streamline campaign operations to make the program more effective and cost-efficient,” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta, in a press release. “These changes will also ensure that the greatest amount of contributions go directly to the charities and causes selected by Federal donors. It also will go a long way to ensure that every charitable dollar and campaign expense is visible to charities and donors through every step of the process.”
Over its 50-year history, the CFC has raised more than $7 billion, making it the largest workplace charitable campaign, according to Archuleta.
OPM based its initial proposal on recommendations made by the CFC-50 Commission in May 2012. Those recommendations came on the heels of a March 12, 2012, OPM inspector general report uncovering more than $700,000 in questionable spending by Principal Combined Fund Organizations (PCFOs) that administer local campaigns under the direction and control of Local Federal Coordinating Committees (LFCCs).
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Last April, OPM issued its proposed rule amendment and based its final amendment on more than 1,000 comments it received during the 60-day comment period.
According to an April 11 fact sheet, some of the changes in the final rule include:
“The rule will also make the fund distribution process more transparent,” an OPM press release said. “By streamlining backroom operations as well as charging fees to process applications and print Charity Lists, the CFC will greatly reduce or eliminate administrative expenses deducted from contributions. In addition, the rule will no longer allow the deduction of federation dues and fees prior to the distribution of CFC funds by federations to their member organizations.”
In a blog post, Archuleta acknowledged that some groups have expressed concern over these changes.
“We take these concerns seriously and remain fully committed to working closely with charities and key stakeholders as we implement the final rule,” she wrote. “Under the new rule, federal employees are able to maximize their contributions and know that the greatest amount of their donations goes directly to the charities that they choose.”