Australian Indigenous Ministries Inc., charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Australian Indigenous Ministries Inc. (AIM).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about AIM.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

  • Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 18 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)
  • Then there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • AIM website. AIM Alice Springs website.
  • Not on FaceBook or LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor yet.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The first object in the constitution is evangelism, pure and direct:
    • Facilitate the spreading of the Christian Gospel to Indigenous Australians through outreach, discipling and counselling.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • AIM is a NSW incorporated association (No. INC9882776).

Other Name(s)

  • The trading name Australian Indigenous Ministries should be here; however, in the absence of a business name, AIM cannot trade under anything less than its full name.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Charity ABN

  • No tax deduction is claimable for a donation to AIM.

Charity Street Address

  • This differs from the one that comes up on the right hand side in a Google search: 366 Hawkesbury Rd, Winmalee NSW 2777
  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 126 TAREE NSW 2430.

Email

Phone

  • From the Google search (and the website): 02 4754 3833

Website

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is AIM’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It was lodged five months after year end.
    • It gives basic financial information. And because the Financial Report file on the Register is corrupted and won’t open, that’s all you’ve got at the moment.
      • ‘Employee expenses’ zero?
      • The bulk of the $4.56 m assets are most likely still the properties discussed at the Royal Commission that the AIM boss said that he either couldn’t (held in trust) or wouldn’t (did want to go out of business) sell in order to compensate child abuse victims.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • Although it says ‘Not required’, this is no doubt due to AIM’s declaration of its size as Small (see Size of Charity, below).
    • Unfortunately the report does not open. I told AIM this and asked them for a copy. However, they did not reply. I was therefore unable to review their latest report.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • On the website.
      • Not charismatic in theology.
    • The same as on page 3 of the constitution.

Date Established

  • Their write-up of the history is on the website.
  • The current ‘General Director’ appeared before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Darwin in 2014.
    • Here’s the background to that, including where to go to find more detail on the early years.
      • Somebody did that for 1905 to 1938, and here’s their thesis.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision and Mission
    • None found.
    • But the Objects are here.
  • Activities (What did AIM do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2014:
      • Ministering the Christian Gospel to Indigenous people in a number of centres across Australia. Developing and training Indigenous leadership for their churches.
        • Not particular to 2014.
    • See the two to three-monthly The AIM newsletter instead (under News).
  • Outcomes (What did AIM deliver?)
    • AIM did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • Nothing systematic found on the website.
    • See The AIM newsletter.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing systematic.
    • See The AIM newsletter.

Size of Charity

  • This is a mistake. Even last year AIM was over the $250K threshold for Medium.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[ii]

  • Given that it operates interstate, ECM, as a registrable Australian body, needs an ARBN. It doesn’t have one.
  • AIM does not have a fundraising licence in these three states.
  • AIM calls for donations on its website.
    • It doesn’t have a fundraising licence in any of the other four states that have a licensing regime.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence in these states depends on whether those states think that AIM, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • Don’t be misled by the name; if it were all about AIM’s ‘field practice and procedure’ as it says on the cover, then it wouldn’t need to be lodged. However, the fourth document is AIM’s constitution.
  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iii]

Trevor Leggott                This function was not working at the time of publication

Stephen Bignall

  • This list is missing at least seven, up to 13, ‘councilors’ [constitution, clause 10.4].
  • Under ‘Position’, to comply with the constitution, there should be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Treasurer.

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iii] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

Sowers International Australia Incorporated, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Sowers International Australia Incorporated (SI).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about SI.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

  • Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 17 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report. (Go straight there.)

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • SI website.
  • Not on FaceBook or LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor yet.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
    • Is the message under the type an ACNC mistake?
  • The first object in the constitution is evangelism, pure and direct:
    • To win the lost to Christ by initiating and advancing effective local Church Open Air Evangelism (sic) in every opportune area [clause 2(1)].

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • SI is a NSW incorporated association (No. Y1946305).

Other Name(s)

  • The absence of a business name here means that SI must use its full name on all documents and publications.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Charity ABN

  • No tax deduction is claimable for a donation to SI.
  • SI is not currently registered for GST. This is not an issue until its revenue reaches $150K.
  • Charity Street Address

Postal address, from the website: PO Box 199 Casula Mall NSW 2170

Email

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Phone

  • From the website: 02 9771 4473

Website

  • From the Google search: http://www.sowersinternationalaust.com/.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is SI’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you
      • ‘Donations and bequests’ includes $5K ‘Administration levy’ (an unexplained item) in the income statement.
      • ‘Grants and donations…’ is called ‘Overseas Ministry Operating Costs’ in the income statement.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • Although not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC (because of its size), SI is, as a member of Missions Interlink[ii] required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]
    • The Statement by Committee is not signed, so we don’t know when the report was finished.
    • It was lodged five months after year end.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below). (Go straight there.)

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • None on the website.
    • In the constitution: see Annexure 1.

Date Established

  • “SOWERS International formed a Board in Australia in 1993 to support Australian missionary candidates.”

Since 1994 the work of Sowers International in Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and more recently in Uganda and Kenya has developed and expanded under their leadership. The Gospel is being preached and hundreds are coming to Christ and joining local churches. Many new churches are being planted” [About Us].

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision and Mission
    • None found.
  • Activities (What did SI do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2015:
      • SOWERS conducted “The SOWERS Program” of evangelistic training and outreach
        • Note: nothing done toward the prime object (see Entity Subtype, above)
    • There’s a description of what SI does on its website.
    • And a detailed description of all five levels of The Sowers Program in the constitution.
  • Outcomes (What did SI deliver?)
    • SI did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • Some information here – but Sowers internationally rather than just Australia?
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Some information here – but Sowers internationally rather than just Australia?

Size of Charity

  • SI is well under the cutoff for the next size of charity (Medium).

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016. (or 31 January if the ACNC is generous again next year.) Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[ii]

  • SI does not have a fundraising licence in this state.
  • SI calls for donations on its website.
    • It doesn’t have a fundraising licence in any of the other six states that have a licensing regime.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence in these states depends on whether those states think that SI, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iii]

Peter Gazard

Paul Mosiejczuk

Selwyn Sexton

Delia Yap

Geoffrey Tomkinson     This function was not working at the time of publication

Christine Sexton

Wendell Merchant

Neil Clark

  • Is the Peter Gazard this one?
  • Presumably Paul Mosiejczuk is this one?
  • If Ella in the names here is Delia Yap, then this list matches the website.
  • Under ‘Position’
    • To comply with the constitution, there should be a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, in addition to the Secretary and Treasurer.
    • The Public Officer is not a responsible person unless he is also a committee member.
    • Isn’t there something more descriptive than ‘Other’?

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • This report falls considerably short of any reasonable interpretation of the Missions Interlink requirement (see Financial Report, above):
  • The is no audit report. (Were the statements even audited?)
  • The Statement by Committee is unsigned.
  • There is no reason given for the questionable decision – given the public invitation to donate and the dependence on donations – not to produce those statements that are needed by users (and prospective users) who can’t request tailor-made statements.
  • There is no explanation why Mission Funds held in Trust (100% of the liabilities) are classified as liabilities.
  • Nearly all the required Notes to the accounts are absent.
  • There is no Statement of Changes in Equity.
  • With the Statement of Income and Expenditure
    • The Net Surplus should be the figure before the transfer to reserves, not after.
    • The section ‘Other Comprehensive Income’ is missing.
    • There is no explanation for the absence of any employee benefits.
    • The only explanation for 95% of the expenses was that they were ‘Ministry Operating Costs’.

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iii] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

Leadership Ministries Incorporated, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Leadership Ministries Incorporated (LM).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about IN.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

  • Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 15 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • No separate website. The name in the list of Mission Interlink members links to this section of the Hillsong (Church) website.
  • Not on FaceBook or LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor yet.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The constitution says that the association is about ‘the promotion of the Christian faith’ by ‘lectures…public meetings, concerts, exhibitions, classes, seminars and conferences’ (clause 2, ‘Objects’).
  • Brian Houston, joint leader, with his wife, of Hillsong Church, says that LM ‘is the entity by which Bobby and I conduct our broader ministry[ii], outside of Hillsong Church here in Australia.’[iii]

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • LM is a NSW incorporated association.

Charity ABN

  • No tax deduction is claimable for a donation to LM.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Charity Street Address

Email

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Phone

  • No number in www.whitepages.com.au. I suggest that you ring the Hills campus of Hillsong (Church) – see Charity Street Address, above.   02 8853 5353.   Ask for Peter Ridley (see Charity Address for Service, above), who is the CEO of the Church (or at least was in March 2014)

Website

  • This is the one that Missions Interlink uses: http://hillsong.com/brian-bobbie/.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is LM’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you
      • Only the totals in the Income Statement can be confirmed from the financial statements – the intermediate figures are not disclosed there.
      • The figures in the Balance Sheet Extract match those in the financial statements.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • The report was signed six months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged the next day, four days before the final day for lodgement.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below). (Go straight there.)

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • None on the website.
    • The constitution says (clause 3(b)) that applicants for membership are required to accept ‘the Christian beliefs as set out in Appendix B’. However, there is no Appendix B, nor a missing page.

Date Established

  • An ABN was only held from October that year.
  • No history found, either on the website or the internet.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision and Mission
    • Nothing found.
  • Activities (What did LM do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2014:
      • The charity hosts and supports Christian worship services and programmes whose aims are to teach biblical principles and offer hope to people through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
        • Nothing particularly about 2014.
        • The two people responsible for running these services, Brian and Bobby Houston, are very public figures. Note, then, the absence of any mention of them.
        • These services and programmes that were run in 2015, recorded, and are now for sale in the store to which one is directed (the Hillsong store), give a good picture of LM’s activities (and some outcomes) in 2014.
  • Outcomes (What did LM deliver?)
    • LM did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes.
    • See last comment under Activities.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found.

Size of Charity

  • LM has a far lower revenue now than a decade ago. Back then it would have been a ‘Large’ charity.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iv]

  • LM holds a fundraising licence in none of the seven states that have a licensing regime.
    • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence depends on whether the states think that, by the Houstons speaking in their state, they are ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[v]

Peter Ridley           This function was not working at the time of publication

  • Only one committee member? All the committee members should be listed here.
  • Is Peter Ridley also a committee member? If not, he shouldn’t be listed here. (And if so, ‘Position’ should show his role on the committee.)
  • In his disclosure letter in 2010, Brian Houston said that ‘no one from our family serves on the LMI board’. This is contradicted by the LM constitution [clause 7(b)]: it appoints Brian as is an office bearer for life, the ‘Executive Director’. So he should be on this list.
  • From the same source, we know that there should also be at least a Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer [clause 7(b)].
  • No comparison of this list with the Committee Members (sic) Report is possible because the usual list of directors there is absent. 

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • Nowhere in this report are the two leading lights of LM mentioned, which, given their high public profile (and not just in Christian circles), is interesting.
  • There is no explanation for why an organisation that is principally two speakers on the Christian speaking circuit, and which is run from the Hillsong (Church) office, needs to own a building (or buildings).
  • There is an almost complete lack of disclosure of how the money was spent.
  • The audit report contains long out-of-date language.
  • The decision not to produce general purpose financial statements, the type of financial statements that are designed for those users (including prospective users) who are unable to get LM to produce statements tailored to their needs, is highly questionable.

Committee Members (sic) Report (first page of the Financial Report)

  • No such report is required by the ACNC.
  • It should be signed by two committee members, and on behalf of the committee.
  • This also applies to the document (page 2 of the Financial Report) where the directors put their name to the Report – the Committee Member’s (sic) declaration.
  • Missing sections:
    • Offices and committee members
    • Objectives (short-term and long-term)
    • Strategy for achieving the objectives
    • Performance measures
  • Sections not required: all of them bar ‘Principal activities’

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Audit Report… (the second page of the Financial Report)

  • The auditor omits one of the statements when describing what’s in the financial report. (Plus he should actually be describing what he audited.)
  • Although this is a ‘clean’ opinion (read here and here to draw the right conclusions from this), the auditor’s frequent and material deviation from the applicable Auditing Standard, somewhat reduces confidence in this opinion. For example,
    • ‘on a test basis’ was replaced in 2006
    • He cannot disclaim all responsibility for the selection of appropriate accounting policies, and
    • The lack of an Emphasis of Matter paragraph.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of Comprehensive Income (page 3 of the Financial Report)

  • Other comprehensive income is missing.
  • Revenue from ministry activities $669K (including Note 2(l)
    • The AIS 2014 contradicts this figure – $100K of it is not revenue, but ‘Other Income’.
    • The Note explains ‘Operational Income’, but we assume that LM meant ‘Revenue from ministry activities’.
    • There is no disclosure of how much came from each of ‘pastoral services’, donations, honorariums, and resource sales.
    • ‘Donations and bequests’ are reported in the AIS 2014: $91K
    • If the situation in 2014 was the same as when Brian wrote the disclosure letter, this description omits the rent that is received for the LM property that has a permanent tenant.
  • Other expense from ministry activities $581K
    • This is much too large a percentage of total expenses, 94%, to be unexplained.
    • See below for ‘Employee expenses’
    • The AIS 2014 shows that $60K went on grants
  • The following expenses are not disclosed:
    • Superannuation expense
    • Administration
    • Fundraising
    • Cost of sales (for the ‘resource sales’)
    • Employee benefits expense
      • The AIS 2014 shows ‘Employee expenses’ as $361K
      • Using the number of employees shown in the AIS 2014 (2 full -time and one part-time), and counting part-time as 50%, this figure represents an average of $144K pa. per employee.
        • That’s at least $288K for the Houston household from LM[vi].

What’s left at the end of the period – the Statement of Financial Position (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • Trade and Other Receivables $170K (including Note 4)
    • The only additional disclosure in the Note is that LM is owed $4K for GST.
    • $166K is too large for ‘Other’ – especially when it has increased from $74K.
  • Property and Equipment $888K (including Note 5)
    • There is no policy note on property.
    • The reason why a charity that provides speakers for ‘worship services and programmes’, and is run from a Hillsong church, need a freehold building (or buildings) is not disclosed.
    • In 2010 Brian said that there were two properties, the use of which was ‘in line with ministry purposes’. How exactly?
    • One had a permanent tenant. How is this consistent with the charity’s purposes?
    • The usual reconciliations of written down values are missing.

Where the cash came from and where it went – the Statement of Cash Flows (page 6 of the Financial Report)

  • For the receipts, it is reasonable to assume – although one shouldn’t have to – that they have the same source as in Note 2(l) (see Revenue… above), but merely saying ‘payments’ for 100% of the cash tells the reader nothing.

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to the Financial Statements (page 7 of the Financial Report)

  • 1   Organisation information
    • The accounts are for LM as an individual entity?
    • Since it is not mentioned, we can assume that committee has no power to amend and reissue the statements
  • 2   Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
    • (b) Basis of preparation
      • It is very hard to see, given the reach of Brian and Bobby’s activities and the interest of the press in them and the empire they lead, how the committee members can reasonably conclude that any person with an interest in LM can ‘command the preparation of reports tailored so as to satisfy specifically all of their information needs.’
        • Did the committee members understand what they were saying (and signing)?
      • The fact that they then give a completely different reason for not producing financial statements fully compliant with the Accounting Standards, throws considerable doubt on the integrity of the first reason. Especially when the second reason is nothing about the users’ needs, and all about convenience to LM.
      • Why no compliance with the other two Accounting Standards that are conventionally in the list for special purpose statements, AASB 1008 and AASB 1054?
    • (i) Cash and cash equivalents
      • Are there never any term deposits? (Three months is the usual cut-off.)
  • Missing policy Notes
    • Revenue recognition
    • Property: normally included with Plant and equipment (Note 2(f))
    • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
    • Current and non-current classification
  • 4 Trade and Other Receivables
    • ‘Other Receivables’ has gone from $74K to $166K yet there is still no disclosure.
  • Missing Notes
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Capital commitments

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

  • Although it doesn’t claim it, LM is a member of Missions Interlink, and is thus subject to its accountability requirements.

 

(End of review)

 

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] Brian says that this work is ‘the unique ministry that Bobbie and I do’ [‘…A Letter From Brian Houston, see prior link].

[iii] Both are permanently controversial: Brian, Bobbie.   To balance that, here is their own description: Brian, Bobbie. And Wikipaedia (note the site’s own cautions): Brian, Bobbie. Brian has received some (deserved) extra coverage recently.

[iv] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[v] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

[vi] They also have significant income from Hillsong (Church). And royalties? In his letter about their finances, written in 2010, he said that his income from LM was $150K. He also disclosed that he received another $150K from Hillsong Church, and that Bobbie’s income was ‘significantly less’ than his.

 

Hope Myanmar Partnership Incorporated, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Hope Myanmar Partnership Incorporated (HMP).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about HMP.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 16 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry.
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • HMP website, FaceBook, and Vimeo (all in the name Hope Myanmar Partnership).   Not on LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews yet on Glassdoor.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • The first is consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The governing object in the constitution makes evangelisation prime:
    • to contribute to the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Myanmar, in Australia and elsewhere…

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • HMP is a NSW incorporated association (INC9884719)

Other Name(s)

  • The two trading names, Hope Myanmar Partnership, and Hope Myanmar, should be here. However, these do not, as HMP appears to believe that they do (see Sources, above), permit HMP to operate under them. That would require a business name.
  • In fact, no only does HMP have to add Australia to the name that it is using, but also ‘Inc’ or ‘Incorporated’ on anything official.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Your donation to HMP will not attract a tax deduction.

Email

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Charity Street Address

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.
  • Postal address, from the FaceBook page: PO Box 112 Jesmond, Newcastle, NSW

Phone

  • There’s not one on the website either.
  • Nor in the White Pages.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is HMP’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It was submitted four and a half months after year end.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • Although there is nothing on the website, HMP is a member of Missions Interlink[ii].
      • One of their requirements is that members ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1].
      • I asked HMP, as a potential supporter and somebody who reviews charities, for this ‘statement’. However, the contact person said the request would have to considered by the board. It is now two weeks after the time for that meeting, and I have heard nothing. I have therefore been unable to review the latest report.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

Date Established

  • There’s a fairly detailed history on the website.
    • The founder is not mentioned but it is this man.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Activities (What did HMP do?)
    • From the AIS 2015:
      • HMP Australia seeks to raise awareness and funds to support activities of HMP Myanmar. The monies raised were used for funding the accommodation, food, and education costs of students and staff at Restoration Bible Institute in Yangon. The monies also went to Blossom Preschool, an innovative early learning centre for poverty stricken (sic) Buddhists in one of the most disadvantaged areas of Yangon. From time to time the monies raised also went to emergency relief e.g. draught/famine relief and to a hospital program modelled on the starlight foundation (sic) model.
        • Unclear whether this is particular to 2015.
    • What HMP does is well described on the website.
  • Outcomes (What did HMP deliver?)
    • HMP did respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcome.
    • Some anecdotal is in evidence in HMP’s occasional newsletters.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Some anecdotal is in evidence in HMP’s occasional newsletters.

Size of Charity

  • If there were a size smaller than ‘Small’, HMP would no doubt qualify.
  • HMP is not registered for GST, but is well under the revenue at which it has to register.

Financial Year End

  • Before the due date for the next report, the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • It is not clear from the website in what sense HMP ‘operates’ all over Australia, but if they have understood the ACNC’s definition, then, as a registrable Australian body, they could well need an ARBN. They don’t have one.
  • HMP calls for donations on each page of its website.
  • And on GiveNow.
    • Despite references to the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 in its constitution, HMP is not a registered fundraiser in NSW.
    • Nor is it registered in any of the other six states that have a licensing regime.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence depends on whether they think that HMP, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • An annual report/review, if there was one, and it had been lodged, would have appeared here.
  • There is no Annual Report/Review on the HMP website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iv]

Andrew Orenstein            This function was not working at the time of writing

David Calderwood

  • Constitutionally, there must be at least five committee members.
    • In addition to the Treasurer, above, there should be a President and a Secretary, plus one other ‘Committee member’.
  • The Committee is not mentioned on the website.

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] A valuable membership for some– see ‘What membership means’ here.)

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

International Needs, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity International Needs (IN).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about IN.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

  • Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 11 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • IN website.
  • Social and other media (see the buttons in the footer of webpages).
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor yet.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • Neither of these subtypes suggest any commitment to sharing the Gospel.
    • Nor does anything in the constitution.
    • The first of INA’s ‘core values’ (on the website) is ‘We are Christian: We are motivated by the example of Jesus, reaching out to the poor, marginalised and oppressed of the world.” Whether the solution includes the Gospel is, understandably given their acceptance of government grants, unstated.
  • IN says that it is committed to ‘holistic transformation’ in its community development work. For a Christian this is not possible without the Gospel.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • IN is a company limited by guarantee.
  • It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of it same. (But not to add ‘Australia’.)
  • There is another charity with International Needs in its name: The Trustee for International Needs Overseas Assistance and Development Fund.
    • The trustee is IN. The charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts, is not registered for GST, and has no responsible persons.
    • Nowhere does IN explain the connection between the two charities. In fact, it acts as if it doesn’t exist: it paints a picture of IN itself being a overseas aid fund.
    • There is no disclosure of the all the things that are required by the trust’s governing document.
    • The AIS 2014 for the second charity says that it had no activities in 2014, and it doesn’t report. Confusing.

Other Name(s)

  • This is neither a trading name nor a business name, so shouldn’t be included here.
  • IN operates under this name. See, for instance, its website, its Annual Report, and its FaceBook page. To continue to do this, legally that is, it should register it as a business name.

Charity ABN

  • No tax deduction is claimable for a donation to IN. However, donations to a fund that it operates, International Needs Overseas, do qualify for a deduction.
    • This fund doesn’t have its own ABN, being part of IN.
    • Why does IN make no distinction on its website, including its invitation to donate, and no distinction in its Financial Report, between IN and its DGR fund?
  • IN as the trustee for the second charity (see Legal Name, above) has an ABN different to IN’s ABN.
  • What is the relationship between the trust International Needs Overseas Assistance and Development Fund (the second charity above), and the fund International Needs Overseas?

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 121, MITCHAM VIC 3132

Email

Phone

  • This number, from the website, may be a cheaper option for you: 1300 731 550.
  • Another one, again from the website: 03 9877 7177.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is INA’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you that is unfortunate – the majority of the figures do not agree with the financial statements.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • The report was signed three months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged two months after that.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below). (Go straight there.)

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • There isn’t one on the website, nor in the constitution.

Date Established

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • International Needs Australia is a Christian organisation journeying to create a just world where girls and boys, men and women are treated equally with respect, dignity and opportunity to reach their full potential.
  • Mission
    • Nothing particularly about 2014-15:
      • We are committed to building innovative partnerships for community well-being(sic) through empowering women and children in our work.  To achieve our charitable purposes International Needs Australia partners with overseas non government (sic) organisations to deliver quality programmes and aid projects that empower the poor and underprivileged in developing countries.
  • Activities (What did IN do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2015:
    • There’s a fuller description of what IN did in 2014-15 in its Annual Report.
  • Outcomes (What did IN deliver?)
    • IN did not respond to the request IN the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • I think these are for the organisation globally. As, with maybe one exception, are those in the Annual Report.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • There is some information in the Annual Report.

Size of Charity

  • Even without including its associated charity, IN easily exceeds the qualification for this size.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016 (or 31 January 2017 if the ACNC is generous again). Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[ii]

  • IN calls for donations on its website (at the top of every page).
    • It holds a fundraising licence in all bar one of the seven states that have a licensing regime. (Perhaps it has assessed that it is exempt in the ACT?)

Operates in (Countries)

  • This single country is a long way short of the number, 12, given on the website.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • There’s one on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iii]

Belinda Knight             This function was not working at the time of publication

William Murcutt

Ian Neil

Lum Patrick

Shelley Naylor

Richard Lim

Daryl Crowden

  • Is the Daryl Crowden this one?
  • Compared with the website the above list
    • Is missing the ‘Board Chair’, Ian Curtis.
    • Has additional directors of Lum Patrick (should be reversed?) and Shelley Naylor.
    • Has McCulloch as the surname for Belinda instead of Knight
  • With the addition of Ian Curtis (see just above), all these responsible persons are also directors of IN Network Australia Inc.

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • Nowhere is it disclosed that IN is controlled by another charity, IN Network Australia Inc.
  • Nowhere is there disclosed that IN is a trustee for an overseas aid fund.
  • The directors’ belief that IN is not a ‘reporting entity’, a choice that allows them to make less than a full disclosure about INA’s finances and operations, is implicitly a statement that any user is able to command the preparation of a financial report tailored to their needs. Do the directors realise they are saying this?
  • Combined, these things are a serious challenge to the directors’ claim that the accounts show a ‘true and fair view’.

Directors’ Report (page 2 of the Financial Report)

  • No such report is required by the ACNC.
  • Missing section: information on the directors
    • The report refers the reader to the Annual Report for the missing information. However, it is far from complete there.
  • Incomplete section: separate short-term and long-term objectives
  • Sections not required:
    • Achievement of Objectives
    • Operating Results
    • Review of Operations

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of Comprehensive Income (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • Total Expenditure’ should be ‘Total Expenses’. With a corresponding change to the next line.
  • The Statement of Changes in Equity incorrectly says that it is the ‘Excess of Revenue over Expenses’ that is transferred from the Statement of Comprehensive Income. It should be ‘Total comprehensive income for the year’.

Revenue

  • Other Income is not revenue.
  • ‘Interest on DFAT Funds’ is not a grant.
  • Investment Income’ is called ‘Interest’ in the cash flow statement.
  • Why, using accrual accounting, is interest revenue (this statement) the same as interest received (the Statement of Cash Flows)?

Expenses

  • The expenses required to be shown when a functional classification is used are not shown:
    • Employee benefits expense
      • ‘Employee expenses’ are shown as $463K in the AIS 2015.
        • Assuming half-time for part-time employees and one-tenth for casuals, this total represents an average of $65K per employee.
      • The cash payment for ‘Wages and salaries’ (Statement of Cash Flows), that is without any other benefits, is shown as $456K.
    • Superannuation expense

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to the Financial Statements (page 8 of the Financial Report)

  • General Information
    • As acknowledged under ‘Basis of preparation’, It is the ACNC Act that governs charity reporting, not a code of the Australian Council for International Development.
    • Missing information:
      • IN as an individual entity?
      • Functional and presentation currency
    • It appears that the directors do not have the power to amend the statements after their issue.
  • Note 1: Significant Accounting Policies
    • Basis of preparation
      • for not-for-profit oriented entities that qualify for and apply different reporting concession’: What does this mean?
    • (d) Employee Benefits: the final sentence is incomplete.
    • (e) Cash and Cash Equivalents: No reason is given for doubling the time to maturity of investments to be included.
    • Missing policy Notes
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Trade and other receivables
      • Fair value measurement
  • Note 2: Surplus/Shortfall for the Year
    • The depreciation figure includes amortisation.
  • Note 4: Trade and Other Receivables
    • If the cash and accrual figures for interest are the same (see above), from where did Interest Receivable come?
  • Note 17: Members (sic) Guarantee: If donors become members – see the constitution – why are there still only 89 members?
  • Missing Notes
    • Critical accounting judgements, estimates and assumptions
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Commitments
    • Events after the reporting period

The Auditor’s Independence Declaration…(the 16th page of the Financial Report

  • This is not required by the ACNC.

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Auditor’s Report… (the 17th page of the Financial Report)

  • This is a ‘clean’ opinion.  Read here and here to draw the right conclusions from this.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

  • On the ‘Support and Accreditation’ page:
  • IN is not a member of Mission Interlink, but IN Network Australia Inc is.

 

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iii] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

ReachAcross, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity ReachAcross (RA).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about RA.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 12 March 2016, and invited them to comment. The same day, they said that the review was accurate, and second, showed a commitment to produce compliant financial statements.

Organisation of this review

  • The review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry.
    • For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    • Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • RA’s part of the international website. On neither FaceBook nor LinkedIn. No social or other media links on the website.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews yet on Glassdoor.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • There are no purposes or objects in the constitution.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Your donation to RA will not attract a tax deduction.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website. GPO Box 3302 Sydney NSW 2001

Phone

Website

  • From a Google search: http://au.reachacross.net/.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is RA’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
  • Financial Report 2014
    • As a ‘Small’ charity, RA doesn’t have to submit a Financial Report.
    • As a Basic Religious Charity it doesn’t even have to include financial information in its AIS.
    • However, RA is a member of Missions Interlink[ii], and one of their requirements is that members ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1].
      • There is no ‘financial statement’ on the website.
      • I asked RA, as a potential supporter and somebody who reviews charities, for this ‘statement’. They sent me their financial report.
    • Although the report bears the Missions Interlink STANDARDS COMPLIANT logo, an addition to which RA is automatically entitled as a member, the report is grossly deficient:
      • Three of the four statements required are missing.
      • The single statement does not comply with the Accounting Standards.
      • There are no Notes to the accounts.
      • The directors do not put their name to the report (no directors’ declaration).
      • Although the auditor is a member of CPA Australia, and therefore required to comply with the Australian Auditing Standards, the audit report, at a mere four lines long, is comprehensively non-compliant with those Standards.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

 Date Established

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Activities (What did RA do?)
    • From the AIS 2014, not much said and not necessarily specific to 2014:
      • Free will (sic) gifts from supporters
    • Here’s how RA is different (to other mission agencies presumably).
  • Outcomes (What did RA deliver?)
    • RA did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes.
    • Nothing found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing on the website.

Financial Year End

  • Before the due date for the next report, the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

Basic Religious Charity

  • If you believe that RA couldn’t be registered as another subtype of charity then it qualifies as one of these special cases.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • The constitution also permits a representative to be appointed in Tasmania.
  • RA doesn’t have a fundraising licence in any of these states. There isn’t enough information on the website to determine whether they need one.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • An Annual Report/Review could be lodged here.
  • There is no Annual Report/Review on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iv]

Yvonne Hall           This function was not working at the time of writing

Timothy Sinclair

David Ross

Trevor Bickerton

  • According to the constitution, all these directors come from NSW.
  • There is no mention of the board on the website.

(End of review)

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] A valuable membership for some– see ‘What membership means’ here.

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

Hands at Work in Africa (Australia) Limited, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Hands at Work in Africa (Australia) Limited (HAW).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about HAW.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

  • Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 10 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

    • ACNC Register (including links)
    • Google search on the charity’s name.
    • HAW’s page (bottom right) on this website.
    • Not on any social media. Not on LinkedIn. (See the footer of the Australian webpage for the buttons for the head office overseas.)
    • State government fundraising licence registers.
    • No reviews yet on Glassdoor. (Not even for the head office.)

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • Neither subtype suggests that HAW shares the Gospel.
  • The first of HAW’s seven ‘core values’, in the constitution, is ‘We are Christian.’ But a footnote to this makes places no obligation on HAW to spread the Gospel.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • HAW is a company limited by guarantee.
  • It does not have the necessary provisions in its constitution to allow it to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of its name.

Other Name(s)

  • Missing here is its trading name, Hands at Work in Africa (Australia) Ltd. Even if this name were different to the legal name, it wouldn’t enable HAW to do business under it – this requires a business name.

Charity ABN

  • Yes, you can claim a tax deduction for a donation to HAW.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this does not work.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 730 Sutherland NSW 1499

Email

  • I have no reason to believe that this does not work.

Phone

  • Alternative phone number, from the Victorian register of fundraisers: 0414 503 920 (Stephen Harvey)

Website

  • This address leads to www.handsatwork.org. In the footer there is a link to a page for Australia, one of four ‘International offices’.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is CH’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you there are no differences with the financial statements.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • The report was signed six months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged a month after that, right on the last day of the ACNC’s generous seven months allowed.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • There isn’t one on the website.
    • Or in the constitution.

Date Established

  • There’s a description on their website of how they got started.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision/Mission
    • None found on the website.
  • Activities (What did HAW do?)
    • There is nothing specific to either 2015 or to Australia under Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2015:
      • The activities of the organisation have continued to develop and build the capacity of indigenous community organisations in developing countries including by undertaking in partnership with in-country partners, specific community development projects in Zambia, Nigeria, DRC, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and ancillary fundraising activities to sustain those objectives.
  • Outcomes (What did HAW deliver?)
    • HAW did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • Nothing found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found on the website.

Size of Charity

  • HAW is only 31K short of the next size, ‘Medium’.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016 (or 31 January 2017 if the ACNC is generous again). Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[ii]

  • HAW calls for donations on its website.
  • And on GiveNow.
    • It holds a fundraising licence in only two of these states, NSW and Victoria.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence in the other five states that have a licensing regime depends on whether those states think that CH, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the HAW website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iii]

Rachel McLaughlin         This function was not working at the time of publication

Clinton Wood

George Snyman

Shane Lepp

  • Is the Shane Lepp this one?
  • HAW is one short of the minimum required by the constitution. HAW said, when lodging its AIS 2015, that this listing was ‘complete, current and accurate’. This means that they should only have been acting as a Board to rectify this situation (clause 21.13, constitution).
  • However, one month earlier, in the Directors’ Report, they said that they had five on the board.
    • Stephen Harvey and Jonathon Chueng were additional, but Rachel McLaughlin wasn’t included.
  • Under ‘Position’, ‘Chairperson’ should be changed to ‘President’ in order to match the requirements of the constitution. 

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • These accounts did not rate a ‘clean’ opinion from the auditor. (See here for the different kinds of opinions.) He says that he had to qualify his opinion because
    • It is not practicable for the company to maintain control over cash receipts prior to their being received and receipted by officers.
      • So where is this cash? It’s the company’s money, but not controlled by its ‘officers’. So who has it?
      • ‘Maintain control’: they had control and lost it?
      • This says all cash receipts. Surely not? That kind of gap in internal controls might well warrant an adverse opinion, not just a qualification.
        • It’s probably just fundraising revenue. That would be better, but still not good. Directors please read this.
      • Why is it not practicable for the company to control this cash? Most other companies can.
  • The directors’ believe that HAW is not a ‘reporting entity’, a choice that allows them to make less than a full disclosure about the company’s finances and operations.
    • It’s also implicitly a statement that any user is able to command the preparation of a financial report tailored to their needs. Are the directors aware that this is what they are saying?

The report by the directors (untitled) (the first page (unnumbered) of the Financial Report)

  • No such report is required by the ACNC.
  • Missing sections:
    • Performance measures
    • Company secretary
  • Incomplete sections:
    • Objectives: the division into short-term and long-term.
    • Information on directors: the section is blank.

The Auditor’s Independence Declaration (page 3 of the Financial Report)

  • The ACNC does not require this to be lodged.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • Other comprehensive income is missing.

Income (ordered by size)

  • Revenue is not disclosed.
  • Other income should be separated from the other items.
  • General Funds $48K
    • What are these? According to the AIS 2015 they are not donations.
  • Volunteer Income $16K
    • What is this unusual item?
  • Hands at Work Administration $12K
    • What is this? Hiring out the staff
  • Director Income $1K
    • What is this unusual item? According to the AIS 2015 they are not donations.
  • Interest received
    • Why not ‘revenue’. The amounts are the same in the cash flow statement – accrual accounting is not used for this item?

Expenses

  • The following expenses are not disclosed:
    • Administration
    • Fundraising
    • Employee benefits
    • Superannuation
    • Depreciation
  • Team Project Deployment Exp $18K
    • These have risen from zero last year. What’s changed?
  • Designated Sponsorship ($4K)
    • Why is this negative?
  • Donations (total $148K)
    • Why are two of the Donations negative?

Where the cash came from and went to – the Statement of Cash Flows (page 8 of the Financial Report)

  • Cash flows from operating activities
    • Receipts $217K: from what?
  • Cash flows from investments
    • investments’ should be ‘investing activities’
  • Notes to Statement of Cash Flows
    • Inclusion of ‘Loss on disposal of asset’ confuses
    • Rounding, 2014: $11 is a bit large for rounding.

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to the Financial Statements (page 9 of the Financial Report)

  • Missing information
    • A description of the entity; ‘individual’, ‘not-for-profit’ etc
    • Functional and presentation currency
    • The date the accounts were authorised for issue
  • Note 1   Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
    • (a) Basis of preparation:
      • ACNC Act not mentioned
      • ‘differential reporting concessions’?
    • (c) Accounts receivable and other debtors
      • What amounts are due from members?
      • What goods are sold? And why on credit?
    • (d) Goods and Services Tax (GST)
      • What about GST and cash flows?
    • (h) Revenue and Other Income
      • This is covered under (d), but conflicts with that Note.
  • Note 3 Trade and other receivables
    • Taxation: but HAW is exempt.
    • Unallocated Donations: how are these a receivable?
  • Missing policy Notes
    • Revenue recognition
    • Current and non-current classification
    • Property, plant and equipment (it is unusual not to have any)
    • Employee benefits
    • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
    • New Accounting Standards and Interpretations not yet mandatory or early adopted
  • Missing Notes
    • Remuneration of auditors
    • Critical accounting estimates and judgement
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Commitments
    • Events after the reporting period

Where the directors put their name to the Report – the Directors’ Declaration (page 12 of the Financial Report)

  • The ACNC Act is not mentioned.

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Auditor’s Report… (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • See Latest financial report – detail, above.
  • The paragraph giving the opinion should be labelled Qualified Opinion.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

 

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iii] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

In Network Australia Inc, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity In Network Australia Inc[i] (IN).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[ii]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about IN.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

  • Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 7 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They decided not to submit a comment for publication.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • IN website.
  • Not on FaceBook or LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor yet.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • And the Statement of Purposes in the constitution is all about sharing the Gospel.
  • Which is supported by an explanation on the About-Us page of the website:
    • What sets IN Network apart from many similar organisations is that our mission actively promotes spreading the good news and bringing people to God. If tax deductibility is not a consideration for you and you are moved to help us reach people in God’s name with His word, we would welcome your financial and/or prayerful support. Remember the words of Jesus in the parable of the lost coin – “In the same way, I tell you, the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15: 10.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • IN is a Victorian incorporated association (No. A0043144Y).

Other Name(s)

  • The trading name International Needs is missing here.
  • This is the first indication that IN is much more than is indicated by its Register entry. A search to see that whether the business name International Needs is available (a trading name doesn’t allow one to do business under that name), shows that the name belongs to a charity, a charity with the same Charity Address for Service, Charity Street Address, Email, and Phone as IN.
    • The connection is given on the IN website:
      • “For information on child sponsorship and sustainable development projects in Africa and Southeast Asia, please see the International Needs Web Site.”
        • International Needs is a ‘Large’ charity.
    • There is actually a third charity controlled by IN, The Trustee for International Needs Overseas Assistance and Development Fund. This one is ‘Small’.
    • IN acknowledges on its Home page that the three organisations are part of the same enterprise:
      • Australia is the only supply line country in the International Needs Network that is obliged to separate its ministry and development activities because monetary gifts to ministry are largely not tax-deductible here.
    • So why doesn’t IN show a consolidated financial picture (see below)?

Charity ABN

  • No tax deduction is claimable for a donation to IN (as they repeatedly point out on their website).

Charity Address for Service

  • Note that this is the same address as for International Needs.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 121, Mitcham VIC 3132.
  • Note that this is the same address as for International Needs.

Email

  • Note that this is the same address as for International Needs.
  • Another address, from last year’s Annual Report: info@innetwork.org.au.

Phone

  • Note that this is the same number as for International Needs.
  • The website has two other numbers: 1300 731 550 and 03 9877 7177.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is IN’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you there’s no differences to the financial statements. (The other half of the enterprise, International Needs, is not included in the figures though.)
  • Financial Report 2015
    • The report was signed three months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged two months after that.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below). (Go straight there.)

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • None on the website.
    • In the constitution: see Appendix 5.

Date Established

  • No history found, either on the website or the internet.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • “IN Network seeks to glorify God and win people to Jesus Christ.”
  • Mission
    • “IN Network in Australia connects Australians with its network of national partners in evangelism, discipleship and community development.”
  • Activities (What did IN do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2015:
      • IN Network Australia Inc. connects Australians with its network of national partners to bring evangelism, discipleship and community development to developing countries.
        • Nothing particularly about 2015.
    • There’s a fuller description of what IN does on its website.
  • Outcomes (What did IN deliver?)
    • IN did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found.

Size of Charity

  • If there were a size smaller than ‘Small’, IN would no doubt qualify.
  • Remember, though that there is another part of the IN enterprise consisting of a ‘Large’ and another ‘Small’ charity.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016 (or 31 January 2017 if the ACNC is generous again). Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • Given that it operates interstate, ECM, as a registrable Australian body, needs an ARBN. It doesn’t have one.
  • IN calls for donations on its website.
    • It holds a fundraising licence in only two of these states[iv]. Seven have a licensing regime.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence in the other six states that have a licensing regime depends on whether those states think that CH, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • The one that is on the website us out-of-date

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

     No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[v]

Ian Curtis                 This function was not working at the time of publication

Richard Lim

Ian Neil

Lum Patrick

William Murcutt

Belinda Knight

Daryl Crowden

  • Is the Daryl Crowden this one?
  • Compared with the list in the Directors’ Report, the above list is two less and has only four of the same names.
  • To comply with the constitution, there should be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Treasurer in addition to the Secretary under ‘Position’.
  • There is no mention of the board on the website.
  • All bar Ian Curtis are also directors of International Needs.
  • There are no responsible persons shown on The Trustee For International Needs Overseas Assistance and Development’s register entry.

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • There is not a single mention of the other two charities. Their existence completely alters the picture of the enterprise that is controlled from 196 Rocks Road. Why don’t IN’s accounts show a consolidated picture?
  • The directors’ belief that IN is not a ‘reporting entity’, a choice that allows them to make less than a full disclosure about IN’s finances and operations, is implicitly a statement that any user is able to command the preparation of a financial report tailored to their needs. Do the directors realise they are saying this?
  • These two things are a serious challenge to the directors’ claim that the accounts show a ‘true and fair view’.
  • One of the four compulsory financial statements is missing: the Statement of Cash Flows.

Directors’ Report (page 2 of the Financial Report)

  • No such report is required by the ACNC.
  • Missing sections:
    • Objectives (short-term and long-term)
    • Strategy for achieving the objectives
    • Performance measures
  • Directors: the Treasurer and Secretary are not identified.
  • Sections not required: all those included except
    • Directors, and
    • Principal Activities

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Income Statement (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • The Net Surplus (Deficit) should be the figure before the transfer to reserves, not after.
  • The section ‘Other Comprehensive Income’ is missing.

Revenue

  • General Funds $22K: This described the destination, not the source, of the funds.
  • Fundraising for Projects (including Note 5): 69% of this was for ‘Mission Trips’.

Expenses

  • Ministry Expenses $22K: Given that the organisation is referred to as ‘the Ministry’ (Directors’ Report), the destination of this 53% of total expenses is unidentified.
  • Project Outlays $22K (including Note 5): 60% of what was raised for the ‘mission trip’ to the Philippines was not spent on this trip.
  • Provision – Annual leave $(negative): This doesn’t match the Note. Nor does Long Service Leave expense.
  • Contrary to the Accounting Standards, the expenses are a mixed classification.
  • The following expenses are not disclosed (or their absence explained):
    • Depreciation
    • Superannuation
    • Employee benefits
    • Administration
    • Fundraising

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to and forming part of the Financial Statements (page 7 of the Financial Report)

  • 1   Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
      • The directors give no reason for their decision to say that IN is not a reporting entity.
      • There is no mention of the ACNC Act.
      • There is no listing of the Accounting Standards that have been followed.
      • (b) Provision for Employee Entitlements: short-term entitlements should be distinguished from long-term entitlements.
    • (g) Accounts Receivable and Other Debtors: If donations are recognised when IN receives control of them (Note 1(d)), how can there be any donor receivables?
    • Missing policy Notes
      • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Property, plant and equipment (it is unusual to operate without any)
      • New Accounting Standards and Interpretations not yet mandatory or early adopted
  • Missing Notes
    • Critical accounting judgements, estimates and assumptions
    • Events after the reporting period
    • Remuneration of auditors
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Commitments

Where the directors put their name to the Report – the Statement by Directors (page 9 of the Financial Report)

  • The financial reporting framework should be identified.
  • There is no reference to the ACNC Act.

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Auditor’s Report… (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • The absence of a cash flow statement is not mentioned.
  • This is a ‘clean’ opinion.  Read here and here to draw the right conclusions from this.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

  • Although its membership of Missions Interlink is not claimed on the website, it is in the Annual Report (or at least was in last year’s, the latest one)[vi].
    • International Needs, and its Fund, have no such accountability though.

 

(End of review)

[i] ‘In’ : a transcription error by the ACNC?

[ii] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] It has one in NSW, but it expired in 2006.

[v] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

[vi] There is no difference between an ‘accredited member’ and a ‘member’ though.

International Support Aid Australia, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity International Support Aid Australia (ISA).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about ISA.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 5 March 2016, and invited them to comment. This was their reply:  ‘Thank you for your email regarding your review of our Charity.   Your findings will be addressed by the Board.’

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report. (Go straight there.)

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s names.
  • No website content. FaceBook page, but out-of-date. Not on LinkedIn.
  • Victorian government fundraising licence register.
  • No reviews yet on Glassdoor.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • Not a type that suggests that ISA shares the Gospel.
  • The choice here does not match the ‘Principal Purpose’ in the constitution:
    • The Principal Purpose of the Company is to operate a public fund that is to be a public developing country relief fund providing relief to persons suffering from the effects of absolute poverty and its life altering impact in certified developing countries [clause 1.3(a)].
  • The ACNC’s ‘Charity to select subtype’ is a mistake?
  • There is no mention of Christianity in the constitution.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • ISA is a company limited by guarantee.
    • It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of its name.

Other Name(s)

Charity ABN

  • You will not be entitled to a tax deduction for a donation to EMS.

Charity Address for Service

  • This does not work. The one under ‘Email’ should.

Charity Street Address

  • No website content to check for a postal address.

Email

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Website

  • No content yet.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is ISA’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this is all you need
      • There is no obvious reconciliation between ‘Donations and bequests’ and the income in the Income Statement.
      • There are two minor transcription errors.
    • IAS says it used cash accounting.
    • The statement was lodged nearly four months after year end. (With the Financial Report (see below) coming two months later.)
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below)
    • The constitution (clause 5.2(a)) requires ‘books [that] give a true and fair view of the state of the Company’s affairs and explain its transactions’
      • The report that ISA has lodged does not meet either of these requirements. See Latest financial report – detail, below.
    • As there is no directors’ declaration included in the Financial Report, we don’t know when the directors approved the financial report – or even if they did approve it
  • Financial Report 2014
    • Although not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC, ISA is, as a member of Missions Interlink[ii] required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • There is no mention of a statement of faith, or similar, in the constitution.
    • No website content to check there.

Date Established

  • Their FaceBook page says 2005.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision/Mission
    • No website content to check.
  • Activities (What did ISA do?)
    • From Section B in the AIS 2014:
      • Providing ongoing resources to enable continued education, community training in Jinja Uganda.
  • Outcomes (What did ISA deliver?)
    • ISA did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • No website content to check.

Size of Charity

  • Revenue is well under the threshold for the next size up (and therefore the compulsory lodgement of reviewed financial statements).

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 September 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • ISA raised greater than $10K from fundraising yet it does not hold a fundraising licence in this state.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • No website content to check for one.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iv]

Glynis Dickins                This function was not working at the time of publication

Paul Tsiros

Jim Zacharias

Voula Zacharias

George Vassilopoulos

Colleen Kelly

Janina De Silva

  • Is Janina De Silva this one?
  • And Voula Zacharias this one?

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • This report is grossly deficient.
    • There is no audit report. Was an audit performed?
    • There is no Statement of Cash Flows.
      • IAS says in the AIS 2014 that it uses cash accounting, so may think that such a statement is not necessary. However, the financial statements in the report are not consistent with that basis.
    • There is no Directors’ Declaration.
    • The Notes are totally inadequate to explain the figures, especially as the most important note, Note 1 is missing.
      • This is the Note that describes the financial reporting framework, and the consequent accounting policies, adopted by the directors.
    • With the Income Statement
      • The classification of expenses combines the two permissible methods.
      • What are ‘Project expenses’, especially as distinguished from ‘Development trip expenses’?
      • At 16K, ‘Other operating expenses’ are too large a percentage of the total to be unexplained.
      • The AIS 2014 shows the number of employees as zero; why then are there ‘Payroll expenses’ in the Income Statement?
      • How are they making money from ‘administration’?
      • Administration, fundraising and superannuation expenses are not disclosed.
      • Other comprehensive income is not shown.
    • With the Balance Sheet, if any of the ‘leasehold improvements’, ‘communications hardware’, or ‘computer software’ are still being used they should be given a value in the books.

 (End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] A valuable membership for some– see ‘What membership means’ here.)

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

Evangelical Missionary Society in Mayurbhanj, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Evangelical Missionary Society in Mayurbhanj (EMS).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about EMS.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

  • Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 5 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report. (Go straight there.)

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • No website, and not on social media. Nor LinkedIn.
  • Qld government fundraising licence register.
  • No reviews yet on Glassdoor.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • There is no mention of Christianity in the objects in the constitution.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • Although the ABN record says that EMS is an Other Incorporated Entity, this is not, as the constitution says, because it is ‘incorporated in the State of Queensland’. Nor in any other State.
    • If it were incorporated it would not qualify as a Basic Religious Charity (see below).

Charity ABN

  • You will not be entitled to a tax deduction for a donation to EMS.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe this doesn’t work.

Charity Street Address

  • The 2014-15 Account of Foreign Contribution submitted to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs shows a different address: 31 Chapman Street Chapel Hill.
  • No website to check for a postal address.

Email

  • I have no reason to believe this doesn’t work.

Phone

  • No website to check there.
  • From Lloyd Carter’s LinkedIn profile: 0433 352 088

Website

  • None found.
  • The site of one of the two organisations in India to which they send money: www.mlh.org.in. (The other is Evangelical Missionary Society.)

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is EMS’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • EMS chose – because they could as a Basic Religious Charity (see below) – not to given any financial information. (It did, however, attach a financial report.)
  • Financial Report 2015
    • Although not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC, EMS is, as a member of Missions Interlink[ii] required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]
    • The report that EMS has lodged does not meet this requirement. See Latest financial report – detail, below.
    • As there is no directors’ declaration included in the Financial Report, we don’t know when the directors approved the financial report – or even if they did approve it.
    • Presumably it was before the auditor signed on 22 August 2015, which would mean that the report was completed within two months of year end.
    • However, it was another four months, on the last day of the period normally allowed for submission, before it was submitted to the ACNC.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • The constitution refers to a Statement of Faith, but it is not included in that document.
    • No website to check there.

Date Established

  • This date is not quite consistent with the histories available, here, and here.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision/Mission
    • No website to check.
  • Activities (What did EMS do?)
    • From Section B in the AIS 2015:
      • Hospital services and rehabilitation services, Other education, Other health services, Other: The charity supports related religious charitable purposes in India, Prayer, correspondence, personal encouragement and support, communicatio
    • Here is a description of what is done in India (as opposed to in Australia).
  • Outcomes (What did EMS deliver?)
    • EMS did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • No website to check.

Size of Charity

  • If there were a category smaller than this, EMS would no doubt qualify.
  • Not registered for GST, so turnover has to be less than $150K.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016 (or 31 January 2017 if the ACNC is generous again). Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

Basic Religious Charity

  • If you believe that EMS couldn’t be registered as another subtype of charity then it qualifies as one of these special cases. 

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • It does not hold a fundraising licence in this state.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • This is marked ‘Proposal (Draft 3) Nov 2013’.
  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • No website to check for one.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iv]

Glenys Hambelton          This function was not working at the time of publication

Gladys Staines

Gilbert Venz

Robyn Marriott

Harvey Carter

  • Presumably this is The Consultative Council, not The Executive Council (Constitution, ‘Government’).
  • It is not clear why EMS would say, in their AIS 2015, that this list is not ‘complete, current and accurate’ rather than fix it.
  • Is Harvey Carter the same person as Lloyd Carter, said elsewhere to be the chair, and on the Register as the contact person?

 

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

  • Latest financial report – detail
  • This report is grossly deficient.
    • It is incomplete. Missing are
      • two of the required financial statements,
      • the Notes to the accounts, and
      • the declaration by the responsible persons.
    • The Audit Report, even though signed by a Fellow of an accounting association that requires[v]compliance with the Australian Auditing Standards, is nothing like what is required by those Standards. And shows that the audit was not done as it should have been done.
    • Nowhere are we told the financial reporting framework that has been adopted by the board.
    • A true and fair view requires an explanation of the close relationship between EMS and the two organisations to which it sends money in India.

(End of review)

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] A valuable membership for some– see ‘What membership means’ here.)

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

[v] ATMA By-laws, www.atma.com.au.