Moore Theological College Council: mini-charity review

There is a later review, published 10 November 2018.

Mini charity review of Moore Theological College Council (MTC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they replied the same day to say that they did ‘not want to pursue this’.

Is MTC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • There are two other charities with Moore Theological College in their name: Church Property Trust – Moore Theological College Library Ordinances and Moore Theological College – M F Abel Trust – Church Property Trust. What is their relationship to RTC?
    • Note 1(t) in the accounts says that ‘The Council acts as Trustee for Moore Theological College Special Purpose Trust Funds’. This fund does not have an ABN. It is not included in MTC’s accounts.
  • With business names:
    • It uses three names instead of MTC: Moore College, Moore Theological College registered, and Moore. Moore is not a business name.
    • It has four ‘centres’: Centre for Ministry Development, Priscilla&Aquila Centre, Centre for Christian Living, and Centre for Global Mission. All are business names.
      • In the Annual Report 2016, the principal says that they only have three centres, the first three above.
        • Why then is MTC’s membership of Missions Interlink in the name of the fourth, Centre for Global Mission?
    • The ABN record shows only two of these six business names.
      • Plus one that is no longer used, John Chapman Preaching Centre.
  • Incorporation:
    • RTC is ‘a Body Corporate under the Anglican Church of Australia (Bodies Corporate) Act 1938 [Financial Report, page 5].
    • The ABN record says that RTC is an ‘Other Incorporated Entity’. ASIC says that it is unincorporated.
  • TC doesn’t have a fundraising licence in the state in which, per the ACNC Register, it operates. Nor in the other six states that have a licensing regime[1].

What does MTC do?

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No – at least not to show who haven’t heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • Presumably the intended impact is the change brought about in the students. No information found on this.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes
    • Including the two funds that MTC runs, Moore Theological College Building Fund, and Moore Theological College Library Fund.
      • There is one incidental mention of the first fund, and nothing on the second fund, on the website.

Is their online giving secure?

  • The first page says that giving is secure, but you have fill in your details before you see what that means.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • General work of the College’
  • ‘The new building capital campaign’
    • Note the absence of both the tax-deductible funds (see ‘Can you get…’, above).

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four and a half months after year end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Not quite:
    • Business names are missing.
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • It is implausible for an organisation that shows Gross Income of $15.25 m, including $11.81 m from the taxpayer and $2.58 m from donors, 144 employees (AIS 2015), over 500 students, and creditors for $2.26m, to have ‘no users dependent on general purpose financial reports’.
      • This means that MTC can produce financial statements that don’t have to comply with all the Accounting Standards, and implies that all users, both present and prospective, can command the preparation of reports tailored to their needs.
      • For a small organisation with limited resources, a decision such as this might be excusable, but from a major player in the Christian community with the resources of the Anglican Church behind it, is it arrogance rather than ignorance?

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The surplus was a high 21% of Gross Income (AIS 2015).
  • Trade payables increased nearly 10 times to $1.61 m. (There is no explanation.)
  • Although current liabilities were $3.80 m, working capital (current assets less current liabilities) was strongly positive.
  • Long term financial structure is sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].
    • However, he agreed with the directors’ decision to produce the lower disclosure special purpose financial statements.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • No
    • the business names are missing.
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Those listed here.
  • The list under ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register has the same, except without J.L. Ramsay:
    • Ken Chapman
    • Anthony Clemens
    • David Cohen
    • Glenn Davies
    • Christopher Edwards
    • William Hurditch
    • Talar Khatchoyan
    • Andrew Killen
    • Kevin Kim
    • Gary Koo
    • Edward Loane
    • Mark Thompson
    • Robert Tong
    • Diane Warren
    • There are 386 directorships recorded for the name ‘Glenn Davies’ and 362 for ‘Robert Tong’. Yes, 386 and 362. These people may have directorships other than charities, so these numbers may be higher. If after eliminating the entries in the Register that don’t belong to MTC’s Glenn Davies and Robert Tong, you are left with their total being more than a handful, something that seems likely at least for the Bishop, it would be legitimate for you to question whether their ability to discharge their fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.
      • The same, although to a much lesser extent, applies to ‘David Cohen’ (9), Christopher Edwards (10), and Mark Thompson (9).

To whom is MTC accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • To the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.
  • MTC is also accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.