Trio of Aid Organisations Lose Charity Status
24 November 2016 at 10:47 am
The charity regulator has revoked the status of three aid organisations, including a Sydney-based charity that delivers emergency relief in Somalia, Syria and Turkey.
The International Development Organisation received more than $1 million in donations via its Australian and overseas fundraising efforts in 2015, according to documents on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) website.
The charity’s work included operations in Syria, Somalia and Turkey providing accommodation and education to orphans in those countries.
The Islamic Development Organisation is listed as assisting communities in Turkey and according to the ACNC website its Annual Information Statement is overdue by nine months.
Diamond’s House of Faith is listed as a Sydney-based religious social services charity delivering emergency relief, income support and maintenance and mental health and crisis intervention services across Australia.
The latest revocations put the number of charities that have lost their status at 17 for 2016, the highest annual number since the ACNC began in December 2012.
ACNC said the revocations follow compliance investigations and the charities have 60 days to object.
These organisations will now lose access to Commonwealth charity tax concessions.
ACNC commissioner Susan Pascoe AM said: “Revocation is reserved for the most serious of cases.”
However she said the ACNC was prevented from disclosing further details due to secrecy provisions in the ACNC Act.
“While the vast majority of registered charities are run by good people who are trying to contribute to our communities, there are some that mismanage charities or, worse still, use them as a vehicle for personal gain,” Pascoe said.
“When we find serious circumstances of mismanagement or deliberate breaches of the ACNC Act we will revoke charity status. We make no apology about taking a tough stance where appropriate.
“Last financial year we received 930 concerns about charities.
“This was a significant increase compared to the 2014/15 financial year when we received 810.
“The additional concerns resulted in the ACNC opening 50 per cent more investigations compared to 2014/15, and more revocations are likely.
“The public and members of charities, including employees and volunteers, often provide the ACNC with valuable information to help us with our enquiries.”
The peak body for international aid agencies, the Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) has confirmed that neither the Islamic Development Organisation nor the International Development Organisation were members of the ACFID.