Shane Warne Charity Hits Back
26 November 2015 at 11:40 am
Cricket legend Shane Warne has taken to Facebook to hit back at claims his Foundation is being investigated by Consumer Affairs Victoria over accounting issues.
"On behalf of everyone at The Shane Warne Foundation [TSWF] I would like to address and clarify some factually wrong and incorrect issues that have been reported recently,” Warne said on Facebook.
“We have raised 7.8 million dollars so far and after our event in January, when we give our annual cheque, our total give, to over 125 different children's charities, will be 4.1 million dollars, which is just under $400,000 per year over an 11 year period.
“That equates to 51-52 per cent of revenue raised given away to those charities.
“I also have in writing from consumer affairs that at no stage was TSWF ever informed that it was under investigation nor did they inform any third party that TSWF was under investigation, as it is not.”
However, in an initial statement provided to Pro Bono Australia News, Consumer Affairs Victoria said the matter was ongoing.
“Consumer Affairs Victoria is concerned about a number of inconsistencies in The Shane Warne Foundation's reporting and accounting practices and is currently looking into this matter,” the statement said.
“The Shane Warne Foundation has advised they have had a number of staffing changes and has sought a meeting with Consumer Affairs Victoria to seek further information concerning their fundraising and record keeping obligations.”
In a new statement the consumer watchdog said it was responsible for ensuring registered fundraisers meet the requirements outlined in the Fundraising Act 1998.
“Prior to its re-registration in July 2015, The Shane Warne Foundation, in response to CAV's registration reporting queries, consulted with CAV around improvements to its reporting and accounting systems,” a CAV spokesperson said.
“CAV is continuing to make enquiries and monitor the situation to ensure the Foundation is meeting its regulatory obligations.
“The Foundation is expected to lodge its most recent annual statement with CAV in the coming weeks. Once those records are submitted, we will update the fundraisers' register, which is publicly available on our website.
“Section 33 of the Fundraising Act 1998 provides for the public to gain access to certain financial records directly from the fundraiser on payment of the prescribed fee. Penalties apply for non-compliance with this requirement.”
Shane Warne, also Chair of his Foundation, said on its Facebook page that at no stage had a member of the board, an ambassador or patron received “one cent” from TSWF.
“In actual fact the board has gone over and above by purchasing tables, buying auction items etc,” he said.
“I would also like to stress that nothing inappropriate or untoward has ever happened and we are in this for the long haul. We will ride through the good times and the bad as well as the tough times like the GFC.
“We will continue to give back and make a significant difference to seriously ill and underprivileged children and their families!!!”
A report in Fairfax Media said an investigation by The Sunday Age had found that The Shane Warne Foundation raised $1.8 million in three years but donated an average of only 16 cents of every dollar to institutions that care for sick and underprivileged children.
“Financial records obtained by The Sunday Age show the spin bowler's personal charity has instead spent the majority of its funds from 2011 to 2013 staging glitzy celebrity events and employing a member of the cricketing great's family,” the article said.