Mid-2020: 23 projects funded in 2020 for 19 grantees
What did I try to do?

False transparency at the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

For me, false transparency is for an organization (like The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World under Derek Yach's management) to claim they are 'transparent' when the most complete information they provide is the annual 990 form that is a legal obligation and the rest is drastically incomplete information about their activities, especially what they fund: for instance the amount of the funding for a grant is not provided except on the 990 form, a document that is not easy to consult and is only published once a year. The FSFW grants database that you can search on their website never indicates the amounts awarded, nor the date when they were awarded, nor systematically provides ways to reach the grantee (like an email or a website), nor mentions the existence and link to a report about what the grant achieved. The Foundation (as of today, July 21, 2020) does not publish a press release when a grant is awarded, keeping the public in the dark about how it uses the yearly $80 million provided by Philip Morris International. I figured out after exploring the list of grants they published on July 3 2020, there had been 23 projects funded in the first six months of 2020 but zero press release from the Foundation and basically none either for the 73 grants or so awarded since November 2017.

Jean-Fran├žois Etter who repeatedly studied and reported about the Foundation, repeatedly asks for more transparency, but Derek refuses to listen to his firm but gentle -too gentle?- admonition, as demonstrated in the official comment posted by the FSFW that completely ignores this issue.

In a response to the much less gentle STOP's Addiction at Any Cost report, the Foundation answers under a section titled Organizational Integrity about the accusation of  lack of transparency by sticking to the minimal 990 form obligation and refusing to admit that what else is posted on the website is very insufficient :

False Claim transparency

To me, all this is in stark contrast with what Derek Yach himself wrote in his book "Project Unthinkable", page 222: "We will make our case not by asking people to trust us, but through independent oversight, transparency and public reporting". This is not happening. Why? 

Doesn't anyone within the Foundation understand that such a lack of communication is harmful and dare express this opinion to the President? Or is the President so much feared/revered or so much deaf that he can safely remain entrenched in the present non communicative dogma even if it is in direct opposition to what he wrote and pledged to do? Does the fact that the $80 million from PMI comes each year anyway, make you completely oblivious of what is lacking communication wise? What is so dangerous in publishing a press release for each new grant, including its amount? What is so dangerous in providing in real time all the useful information?  Do you believe you can keep operating that way for the next 10 years?  


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