Charity Concerns on the Rise, ACNC Says

Concerns about Australian charities rose by 42 per cent in 2017, according to a new report from the national charity regulator.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission released The Charity Compliance Report 2017 on Tuesday, which noted that 1,695 concerns were raised about charities in 2017, compared to 1,192 complaints in 2016.

The number of charity concerns has increased each year since the national regulator was established in December 2012, and ACNC commissioner Dr Gary Johns said the increase was likely due to growing awareness of the ACNC and media coverage of charity misconduct.

“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,” Johns said.

“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.

“And while concerns have increased, it is important to note that the majority of Australia’s registered charities do the right thing, and deliver significant public benefit to our community in a wide range of areas.”

In 2017, 202 charities were investigated, with 82 of these investigations finalised.

As a result, 26 charities lost their charity registration, while a further 16 charities entered into compliance agreements with the ACNC.

The most common types of concerns related to “governance breaches, fraud, lack of transparency, and mismanagement, including breaching the charity’s own governing document”.

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