ACNC Strips Two Organisations of Charity Status
30 May 2018 at 4:07 pm
The Australian charities regulator has stripped two organisations of their charity status, and has suggested more revocations are likely to follow in coming weeks.
On Tuesday, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) announced the revocation of charity status for the Australian Foundation for Disabled Children and Youths Ltd and Pockets Australia Pty Limited.
ACNC commissioner, Dr Gary Johns, said these revocations followed separate investigations into the activities and operations of the two organisations.
“The revocation of charity status is the strongest enforcement power the ACNC can take against a charity,” Johns said.
“This is reserved for the most serious cases of misconduct or mismanagement.
“Following investigations into these charities, the ACNC had no alternative but to revoke charity status. These organisations will now lose their entitlement to generous Commonwealth charity tax concessions.”
— ACNC (@ACNC_gov_au) May 29, 2018
Under ACNC guidelines, all registered charities must submit annual reports and meet the ACNC Governance Standards, ensuring charities operate lawfully and run in a responsible manner.
Johns said while the ACNC took an education first approach to get charities back on track, regulatory action was necessary on this occasion.
“Wherever possible, we want to work with charities to ensure they have the procedures and principles in place to guarantee their charity is well-run,” he said.
“However, where charities fail to display a commitment to their governance, transparency or accountability, we will take the appropriate regulatory action.”
Johns also indicated that more charity revocations were likely to follow in the next month, and encouraged the public to report any concerns they had.
“So far in 2017-18, the ACNC has revoked the charity status of 21 organisations, and more are likely to follow in the next month,” he said.
“Many of these investigations were borne out of concerns raised by members of the public.
“We encourage members of the public to raise their concerns by calling 13 ACNC, or visiting acnc.gov.au.”
Australian Foundation for Disabled Children and Youths Ltd and Pockets Australia Pty Limited have 60 days to object to the ACNC’s revocation decision.
Both organisations did not respond to Pro Bono News’ request for comment.