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New Report: Charity concerns continue to rise

The 2018 edition of the ACNC’s annual Charity Compliance Report found that more than 1,800 concerns were raised about charities, up 6% compared to 2017.

The number of concerns raised about Australian charities has risen again, according to a new report released today by the national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

The ACNC Commissioner, the Hon Dr Gary Johns, noted that charity concerns have increased each year since the ACNC was established in late 2012.

“We have seen concerns grow from the mid-600s in 2013-14, to almost three times that in 2018,” Johns said.

“The annual increase in the number of concerns about charities likely mirrors the community’s growing awareness of the ACNC as the national charity regulator. This is supported by the fact that most of these concerns – 57% – were raised by individuals. Individuals being past or current volunteers, employees, beneficiaries, and members of the public.

“In 2018, a larger proportion of our Compliance team’s work was the result of internal ACNC analysis. The number of concerns identified proactively through intelligence gathering and data-matching jumped to 20%, up from 8% in 2017. ”

Johns explained that a key theme of this year’s report is identifying and managing risk.

“It is impossible for a charity to operate with zero risk,” Johns said.

“Charities operate in high-risk environments and undertake high-risk activities. The nature of their work dictates that an element of risk is involved.

“The key is identifying risk and managing risk appropriately through strong governance policies and procedures. In this year’s report we shared a real-life case study where a charity identified fraud and took firm action. The charity not only addressed the matter – they also reduced the risk of fraud occurring again. ”

In addition to providing case studies and practical examples of risks faced by charities, the report highlights the key statistics that show the breadth of the ACNC’s compliance work.

“The registered charities that were the subject of an ACNC compliance case in 2018 controlled nearly $12 billion in assets,” Johns said.

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