The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) released a report on obstacles to the involvement of faith-based organizations in federal social service programs. John J. DiIulio, Jr., Director of the White House OFBCI, presentd the results of an audit of five cabinet departments. Also participating in the announcement and discussion of the survey were John Bridgeland, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Stanley Carlson-Thies, associate director for cabinet ffairs at the White House; Sebastian Mallaby, member of the Washington Post editorial board; and officials of the OFBCI centers at the departments of Education, HHS, HUD and Justice.
The survey, titled Unlevel Playing Field: Barriers to Faith-Based and Community Organizations’ Participation in Federal Social Service Programs, is the result of executive orders signed in January by President George W. Bush. The orders created the OFBCI, established related centers in five cabinet agencies—Education, HHS, HUD, Justice and Labor—and required each center to conduct a “department-wide audit to identify…barriers to the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in the delivery of social services.”
The purpose of the audit was also to determine whether there are factors that “discourage or disadvantage” faith-based organizations from participating in federal programs. Following the presentation of the report, Brookings scholars analyzed and commented on the results of the audit.