The ACNC has released a new report on charity compliance. In 2017, the ACNC received 1,695 concerns about charities, which is an increase of more than 40 per cent on the previous year. The ACNC attributed the increase, in part, to the public’s increased awareness of the ACNC and their role in addressing non-compliance and regulating the sector.
The report found that there are a small number of charities that do the wrong thing and abuse their position and privileges. However, there are a larger number of charities that set out with good intentions but, due to poor governance or mismanagement, place charitable funds and assets at risk of misuse. Poor governance was the common theme to emerge. The most common issues related to poor financial controls, inadequate due-diligence of employees and partners, and a failure by the charity’s responsible persons to act in the best interests of the charity.
In brief, in 2017:
- 82 investigations were finalised
- 338 risk assessments were completed
- 26 charities had their registration revoked following investigation,
- 1 charity entered into an enforceable undertaking 3
- 16 charities entered into a compliance agreement with the ACNC
- 50 charities were provided with regulatory advice by Compliance Officers to ensure future compliance
- 7 charities had their registration revoked following a registration review of entitlement
- 780 double defaulter charities had their registration revoked for failure to file two Annual Information Statements
- 311 charities were issued with ‘final warning’ letters for failure to submit their annual information statements
- 115 charities were issued with penalty notices (up to the value of $4,500) for the failure to submit their Annual Information Statement
- 49 notices were served on charities and third parties such as banks under section 70-5 of the ACNC Act to obtain information and documents
- Charities subject to compliance cases controlled over $5.9 billion of charitable assets in total.