G.L.O. Ministries Limited, charity review

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.  Please start with the updated review published in November 2016, and come back to this one as needed.

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity G.L.O. Ministries Limited (GLO).

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 GLO.

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 February 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

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • GLO is well overdue in selecting a subtype to replace the one that expired at the end of 2013.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • GLO is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
  • The company’s name is G.L.O. Ministries Limited, not as it uses it, GLO Ministries Limited.
  • And, as it doesn’t have the necessary provisions in its constitution, it is not entitled to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ when it uses its company name. See, for instance, the website.

Other Name(s)

  • A business name and a trading name are missing here.
  • The business name, GLO College of Ministries, allows GLO’s bible college to trade legally under that name.
  • In fact, some consider GLO to be a bible college.
  • CrossConnect/Cross Connect (see Facebook, above) is not registered as a business name.

 

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Contrary to what GLO says at the bottom of its giving page, GLO itself does not have deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. However, you can claim a tax deduction for a donation on this page if you restrict your donation to one of its two building funds. Unfortunately these two funds are not described, nor even named.

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 171 Riverstone, NSW, 2765

Email

  • My email to this address bounced.

Phone

  • From the website: (02) 9838 1595

Website

  • From a Google search: gloministries.org.au.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is GLO’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you
      • Transfer $23,203 from Other Income to All Other Revenue.
      • Grants in Australia $331,633 cannot be confirmed from the financial statements.
      • Grants and donations…outside Australia is described more broadly in the financial statements as ‘Overseas ministries and humanitarian aid’.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • The report was signed just under two months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged three and a half months after that.
    • 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
    • The website says that you’ll need to contact GLO for their ‘Doctrinal Statement.’
    • There is no standalone statement of faith in the governing document, but there is, in paragraph 5, a ‘doctrinal statement of belief’ to which applicants for membership have to agree.
    • GLO is a Christian Brethren – not to be confused with the Exclusive Brethren – organisation.

Date Established

  • This is when it became a company, but it began long before that. Here’s a brief history from the start to 1981.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • None found.
  • Mission
    • None found.
  • Activities (What did GLO do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2014:
      • Religious education for students, raised funds for religious activities in Australia & overseas. Raised & distributed funds for typhoon relief in the Philippines.         Provided accommodation and catering assistance for children from poor families in Myanmah(sic). Provided admin services for all the above.
  • Outcomes (What did GLO deliver?)
    • GLO did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes.
    • GLO produces a magazine, Spearhead, but this gives mostly anecodotal rather than systematic evdence. Plus the latest issue is Spring 2014.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found.

Size of Charity

  • With a revenue of $820K, GLO is well above the threshold for this category.

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]

  • GLO calls for donations on its website.
  • It does not hold a fundraising licence in any of these six states.
    • Apart from exemptions, whether it need a licence depends on whether ‘operating’ in these states includes fundraising.
  • It also doesn’t have a licence in the seventh state/territory that has a licencing regime, the ACT.
    • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence depends on whether the ACT thinks that GLO, 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 GLO website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

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

Geoffrey Weatherley               3 (including the GLO duplication)

Geoffrey Weatherley

Craig Stokes                             2 (including the GLO duplication)

Craig Stokes

David Scott                               12 (including the GLO duplication)

David Scott

John Quilliam                          3 (including the GLO duplication)

John Quilliam

Juno Ng                                     2 (including the GLO duplication)

Juno Ng

Bruce Jenyns                            2 (including the GLO duplication)

Bruce Jenyns

Kenneth Harding                     2 (including the GLO duplication)

Kenneth Harding

Andrew Cowell                        3 (including the GLO duplication)

Andrew Cowell

Malcolm Arnold                       3 (including one duplicate)

Malcolm Arnold

  • Duplicates need to be removed.
  • Compared to what is required by the constitution, ‘Position’ here is missing a Treasurer, and ‘Chairperson’ and ‘Deputy Chairperson’ should be ‘President’ and ‘Vice-President’.
  • The Board is not mentioned on the website.
  • Compared to the situation at 21 February 2015 (the Directors’ Report), Arnold has joined (taking the number to nine, thereby making the composition legal again).  

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

 

Latest financial report – detail

  • The directors’ belief that GLO is not a ‘reporting entity’, a choice that allows them to make less than a full disclosure about GLO’s finances and operations, seems to be a clear contravention of their claim that the accounts show a ‘true and fair view’.
    • The directors’ present no support for their decision, a decision that means that GLO, an organisation that operates in six states, runs a bible college, and calls for donations on its website, is willing to tailor a financial report for anybody who requested one.

Cover page

  • Given that the Financial Report has been lodged on the public register maintained by the ACNC, the note at the bottom of this page is of no effect:
    • The accompanying special purpose financial report has been prepared for the exclusive use of the Directors and members. This financial report is not to be used by any other party unless accompanied with additional information concerning the company or the company’s financial position.
      • Needless to say, I did not request this additional information.

 

Directors’ Report (page 1 of the Financial Report)

  • No such report is required by the ACNC.
  • Missing sections:
    • Strategy for achieving the objectives
    • Performance measures
    • Company secretary
  • Incomplete sections:
    • Directors
    • Objectives and strategies: short-term/ long-term split.
  • Sections included but not required:
    • Operating result
    • Independence declaration

The Auditor’s Independence Declaration (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • The ACNC does not require this to be lodged.
  • It is unsigned.

What’s left at the end of the year – the Statement of Financial Position (page 5 of the Financial Report)

  • Trade and other receivables $66K (including Note 7)
    • To whom are unsecured loans made?
  • Property, plant and equipment $6.04 m (including Note 8)
    • Why are the additions $44K here, but only $34K in the Cash Flow Statement?
  • Trade and other payables $229K (including Note 9)
    • Gifts received in advance $156K
      • This is not consistent with the revenue policy note.
  • Loans and borrowings $525K (including Note 10)
    • Neither the lender nor the terms are disclosed.
    • The amount of the reduction does not match the amount in the Cash Flow Statement.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income (page 6 of the Financial Report)

  • Revenue $820K (including Note 4)
    • Donations $497K
      • This cannot be matched to the giving options on the website.
    • Course fees $151K
      • There is no mention of the bible college in the Report.
  • The following expenses are not disclosed:
    • Employee benefits
      • Not all the those working in the ‘home office’ are self-supporting, so there should be some wages ++ paid.
    • Fundraising
    • Administration
    • Superannuation expense
  • The expenses classification is a mixture of the two permitted methods.
  • Administration and occupancy expenses $272K
    • GLO says that ‘our administrative costs are covered through general donations and Course Funds.’
    • ‘Course fees’ were $151K, leaving $121K to come from ‘general donations’. But donations are ‘passed on’ (see below), so from where does the shortfall come?
  • Overseas ministries and humanitarian aid $249K
    • GLO claims that it ‘passes on 100% of every gift to the ministry. GLO Ministries trusts the Lord to provide for our overhead costs…’ Why then was only 50% of its ‘Donations’ (see above) sent overseas?

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

  • No payments to employees?
  • Why are loans an investing activity?
  • In Note 12, if there were non-cash donations of $38K, why is the amount for donations in the profit or loss statement the same as that in the cash flow statement?

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

  • Note 1 – Reporting entity
    • This is confusing: the accounts are drawn up as if GLO were not a reporting entity.
    • From the lack of a comment it appears that the directors do not have the power to amend and reissue the financial statements.
  • Note 2 – Basis of preparation
    • Statement of compliance
      • No reason is given for the decision that GLO is not a reporting entity.
      • The company is also required to comply with the recognition and measurement provisions of all the Accounting Standards not listed here.
    • Basis of measurement
      • The statement that AASB 12, 13 and 119 have been applied contradicts the Statement of Compliance.
  • Note 3 – Significant accounting policies
    • Cash and cash equivalents: three months, not six months, is normally the cut-off for cash equivalents.
    • Missing policy Notes
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Fair value measurement
    • Incomplete policy Notes
      • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
      • New Accounting Standards and Interpretations not yet mandatory or early adopted
  • Note 14 – Limitation of members’ liability
    • The company is not incorporated under the ACNC Act.
  • Note 15 – Contingent Liabilities
    • Don’t course fees have to be repaid under certain circumstances?
  • Missing Notes
    • Commitments

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Auditor’s Report… (page 20 of the Financial Report)

  • His disclaimer about accounting policies (‘Auditor’s Responsibility’ section) is from a superseded Auditing Standard. No such disclaimer is now made.
  • This is a ‘clean’ opinion.  Read here and here to draw the right conclusions from this.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

  • None claimed. GLO is, however, a member of Missions Interlink. GLO’s record here makes the same mistake in the name as the charity makes elsewhere.

 

(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.