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Cuomo seeks nonprofit exec compensation data

(Dolan Media Newswires) — As part of an effort to crack down on excessive pay to nonprofit executives, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Task Force on Not-For-Profit Entities has requested these groups provide detailed information about compensation and justify their nonprofit status.

The letter from Benjamin M. Lawsky, superintendent of the Department of Financial Services and task force chair, is going out to the boards of groups that receive money from the state, including Medicaid providers, other health and social service providers and hospitals.

It asks groups to explain compensation decisions, provide data on comparable salaries used in justifying compensation and indicate attitude toward clawing back excessive remuneration.

“Our task force is conducting a top-to-bottom review,” Benjamin M. Lawsky said in a written statement, “not only to audit current compensation levels, but also make recommendations for future rules to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to serve and support the people of this state.”

Cuomo created the task force amid concerns regarding excessive compensation for executives at not-for-profits that receive Medicaid funding through the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities and other agencies.

The Department of the Budget’s January 2010 analysis of not-for-profit employees contracting with the mental hygiene agencies found 1,926 employees with annual salaries greater than or equal to $100,000.

The total value of their salaries was $324.6 million with an average salary of $168,555, prompting concerns over widespread excesses.

“Not-for-profits that provide services to the poor and the needy have a special obligation to the taxpayers that support them,” Lawsky wrote in the letter that has begun to go out.

The letters seeks information on salary, bonuses, deferred compensation, fringe benefits and perquisites such as cars, apartments, tickets and memberships for executives and board members.