Foundation ‘Shocked’ To Be on Regulator’s At-Risk List
28 June 2016 at 11:49 am
The corporate foundation of national after-school care provider Camp Australia said it was “shocked and surprised” to find itself listed as a charity at risk of being deregistered for not providing financial statements to the charity regulator.
Camp Australia is listed alongside nearly 1,700 registered charities who are at risk of losing their charity status with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) – including more than 600 charities based in New South Wales and 400 in Victoria.
ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM said the listed charities had failed to report to the ACNC previously and the next reporting deadline was fast approaching.
The Camp Australia Foundation (tCAF) registration page shows the Not for Profit has failed to provide its financial statements for the last 15 months.
The foundation provides direct support to disadvantaged children so they can attend school and gain an education.
tCAF told Pro Bono Australia News the organisation had provided its accounting firm PWC with all the financial information needed.
“We are very surprised to hear that we are even being considered for delisting. We have had no contact from the ACNC about any concerns they might have,” tCAF CFO Glenn Shepard said.
“We have always been meticulous in providing all of the reporting and information to our auditors to ensure we continued to meet all of the administrative requirements of being an approved Not for Profit organisation.
“I am confident that this is just an administrative misunderstanding that can be rectified so that we can continue to support the education of disadvantaged children.”
Pro Bono Australia News has also sought comment from PWC.
Pascoe said registered charities must submit an Annual Information Statement to the ACNC each year.
“These charities have already failed to submit an Annual Information Statement for either 2013 or 2014, and are now just days away from being overdue for 2015 as well,” Pascoe said.
“This means these charities are about to become what we refer to as ‘double defaulters’, which is grounds for revocation of charity status.”
She told Pro Bono Australia News while a number of the listed charities had wound up, some were likely still operating.
“The ACNC inherited a list of charities from the ATO which contained outdated information. Over the past three and a half years, the ACNC has been working to ensure that the information which is published to the charity register is up to date and can be trusted by the public and donors. The double defaulter work is one part of our overall data integrity strategy,” Pascoe said.
“The ACNC has been unable to contact charities on the list of potential double defaulters despite multiple attempts to do so over the last three and a half years. The ACNC has written to the address for service at least twice a year, advertised in metropolitan and regional newspapers, and published lists and media releases to help inform charities of their obligations.
“We believe a number of these charities have wound up; however some are likely to be still operating and have not provided the ACNC with accurate and up-to-date contact details.”
Pascoe said the ACNC publicly published lists as a final attempt to locate any charities that were still operating.
“Charities who are still operating that are on the double defaulter list are strongly encouraged to contact the ACNC immediately to avoid revocation. We will work with them to ensure their annual reporting and contact details are up-to-date,” she said.
“Registered charities have an obligation to notify the ACNC of certain changes, for example changes to the charity’s address, their responsible persons, and governing documents. These changes must be notified within 28 days for large and medium size charities and within 60 days for small charities. Much of this information will be made available to the public on the Charity Register, therefore it is important it is accurate and up to date.
“I encourage people to check the list and if they are associated with one of the charities, or know someone that is, please contact the ACNC immediately.”
She said the Charity Register was becoming an increasingly popular source of information about Australia’s charities. In just over three and a half years, it has received over 1.5 million views.