ACNC puts charities on hold

The average wait time for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to answer a phone inquiry has risen from 38 seconds to seven minutes over the past year, the watchdog’s annual report has revealed. Commissioner Dr Gary Johns told Pro Bono News the ACNC’s transition to a new IT system last year had caused a major increase in demand for…

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Incidents of corruption and fraud in charities are among some of the most common compliance-breaches reported to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Unlike the private and public sectors, charities are less likely to invest in measures to stop fraud happening in the first place. “Charities have a particular type of vulnerability that comes from a culture of trust,”. To…

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Effective not-for-profit boards possess a winning combination of passion and professionalism. It is crucial that all board members understand the personal legal responsibilities they assume when they become a director of a board. Regardless of their connection to the cause, a person should not accept a directorship or remain as director without the appropriate skills and competence to perform their…

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Effective whistleblowing policies require much more than good intentions. To deliver on its purpose, an effective whistleblowing regime needs not only legislation and regulation, but also processes and governance frameworks within organisations. Without good governance and processes, too much can be left to chance and individual situations. The Whistleblower guide is designed as a companion to the new legislative and…

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The ATO has announced its first direct use of Single Touch Payroll information, vowing to act on its “unprecedented level of visibility” of superannuation information, as it sends a warning to errant employers. ATO deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said the agency is now “heavily focused” on SG obligations, having recently completed an examination of SG contributions for 75 million payment…

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The ACNC made a recent submission to the Australian Accounting Standards Board on Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards – Disclosure in Special Purpose Financial Statements of Compliance with Recognition and Measurement Requirements (ED 293). The additional disclosure requirements proposed will provide more details in the special purpose financial statements that some charities submit as part of their Annual Information Statements,…

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Next week is Charities Fraud Awareness Week, aimed at empowering charities to talk about and prevent fraud. Charities generate significant income – more than $140 billion per year – which can make them vulnerable to fraud if they have inadequate controls over finance and governance. Fraud surveys conducted in the Australian not-for-profit sector over the past decade have found between…

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Mergers and acquisitions have become a natural part of the not-for-profit landscape with more than twice the number of organisations considering a merger than was the case ten years ago. While they bring the promise of greater efficiencies and better service delivery, they also pose the risk of smaller entities being swallowed up by their larger and more powerful merger…

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Animal welfare charity RSPCA NSW is blaming a payroll error for hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing wages. It follows reports that 1,600 past and present members of RSPCA NSW were underpaid around $1 million over the past decade. Releasing a public statement hours later, a spokesperson for the charity said the underpayment totalled $121,000 and affected 22 out…

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A former Wallaby and a one-time cocaine smuggler are among 15 defendants named in a multi-million-dollar liquidators’ lawsuit alleging breaches of duties and voidable transactions following the collapse of a children’s care charity. Glen Ella, who played rugby for Australia alongside two of his brothers in the 1980s, served as chief executive of Guardian Youth Care from 2014. The NSW…

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