Charity concerns increasing

Charity concerns increasing

Almost 1700 concerns were raised about charities in 2017 – up from 1192 complaints in 2016 – according to ACNC’s The Charity Compliance Report 2017.

The report found that the 42 per cent increase was probably due to rising awareness of the national charity regulator and media coverage of charity misconduct.

New ACNC commissioner Gary Johns said: ‘As awareness of the ACNC has grown over the last five years, we have seen a steady increase in the number of concerns raised about the activities and operations of charities.

‘Members of the public remain a valuable source of information, as they contributed 23 per cent of the concerns that our compliance team assessed in 2017.’

The commission last year investigated 202 charities, 82 of them finalised.  Twenty-six charities lost their charity registration as a result, and a further 16 charities entered into compliance agreements.

The latter controlled more than $5.9 billion of assets.

Poor governance was a common theme to emerge from the ACNC’s investigations.  The most common issues identified were poor financial controls, inadequate due-diligence, and a failure by charities’ responsible persons to act in a charity’s best interests.  These issues, in addition to fraud, terrorism, harm to beneficiaries and disqualifying purposes, will be areas of focus for the ACNC this year.

The full report is available on the ACNC website at acnc.gov.au/compliancereport.