Partners Relief & Development Australia Inc, 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The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.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 February 2018, and come back to this one as needed.

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Partners Relief & Development Australia Incorporated (PRD), and the charity for which it is trustee, Partners Relief & Development Australia Overseas Aid Fund (PRDOAF).

They are reviewed together, for although they do not form a group, it appears from their Annual Information Statements (see below) that PRD has no transactions outside its role as trustee.

The review is structured according to the entries on the ACNC[i]Register for PRD, with those for PRDOAF only mentioned when they are different.

Its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about PRD (and PRDOAF).

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 26 April 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.   I subsequently updated the review to match the latest information on the Register.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry for PRD. 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.)
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on each charity’s name.
  • PRD website.
  • Not on FaceBook, or LinkedIn.  (The four buttons in the website footer do not lead to Australian sites/pages.)
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • Not a type that suggests that the Gospel is shared.
  • There are no objects in PRD’s constitution.
  • But there are in PRDOAF’s deed:
    • The principal purpose of the trust is to encourage tax deductible donations for the purpose of providing money, property or benefits to overseas aid funds endorsed uner item 9.1.1 of s.30-80 of the ITAA 97 or other Funds (sic) or institutions which have deductible gift recipient status as endorsed by the Commissioner [clause 4.1].

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • PRD is a NSW incorporated association (No. INC9883499).
  • PRDOAF is, at least according to its ABN record, a discretionary investment trust[ii].

Other Name(s)

  • This is the PRDOAF’s name, not another name for PRD.
  • PRD owns no business name. The law therefore requires it to use its full name in all the usual places that a name is used:
    • The full name of the association including the word ‘Incorporated’ or the initials ‘Inc.’ must appear in legible characters on official documents, including all business letters, statements, invoices, receipts, notices and publications (including the associations website).
  • It doesn’t do this in its Annual Report 2014, or on Facebook, for instance.
  • PRDOAF:
    • This is a mistake – this is the trustee’s name, not another name for PRDOAF.
    • There is a trading name missing here, but it is business names that are important now, not trading names.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Although you cannot claim a tax deduction for a donation to PRD, you can for one to PRDOAF.

Charity Address for Service

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

Charity Street Address

  • There are two other addresses on state fundraising registers:  23 Hillcrest Ave, GOONELLABAH, NSW 2480 (NSW) and 3/36 Collins Street, Mentone 3194 (Victoria).
  • PRDOAF:  Through this mistake we get the postal address for PRD:  PO Box 552 Mentone Vic 3194.

Email

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

Phone

  • An alternative, from a state fundraising register: 0423721153 (Joy Dyer)

Website

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is PRD’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • Given that PRD and PRDOAF have, apart from their names and ABNs, the same Charity Details, all but one of PRD’s directors are also directors of PRDOAF, and PRD appears to have no transactions outside its role as trustee, one wonders why
      • they don’t present consolidated financial statements, and
      • they don’t take advantage of the ACNC Act’s group reporting provisions, thus simplifying their reporting requirements to the ACNC (both Annual Information Statement and Financial Report).
    • The Financial Report was finished three months after year end, and the AIS lodged a month after that.
    • The AIS gives basic financial information. If you think this may be all you need
      • The ‘Other Income/Receipts’ includes a loss of $22 for ‘Net Trading Income’. The revenue and expenses producing this result are not disclosed – presumably they have been judged immaterial.
      • ‘Employee expenses/payments’ is $21,747 in the Notes (see below).
        • It represents 16% of expenses.
        • They are spread across Program Support Expenses (8% of expenses), Accountability & Administration Expenses (12% of expenses), and Community Education Expenses (3% of expenses). For some reason, unlike last year, there are no employee expenses in Fundraising Expenses (6% of expenses).
        • According to the declaration elsewhere in the AIS, it is for two employees, one full time and one.
      • ‘Grants and donations made…’ represent 70% of expenses.
        • According to their last report to the Victorian fundraising authority, donations all went to the Mitmaitree Foundation in Thailand.
      • Nowhere does it say that 100% of PRD’s transactions were as a trustee for PROAF.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • It is because of its size that PRD doesn’t have to lodge a Financial Report.
    • However, its membership of Missions Interlink[ii] requires them 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 Financial Report is reviewed below.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

 Date Established

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision and Mission (and more)
  • Activities (What did PRD do?
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2015:
      • We continued to maintain and expand our developmental endeavours in educational support, medical provisions & training, sustainable agricultural initiatives, and refugee migrant support.
        • This is identical to last year, so not particular to 2015.
        • Not particular to Australia?
        • No mention that they were doing these things as the trustee for another charity.
    • The website has a description of the worldwide Partners projects.
  • Outcomes (What did PRD deliver?)
    • PRD did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • Nothing systematic found.
    • See pages 5 and 6 of the Annual Report.
    • But here on the website is about Partners worldwide.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing systematic found.
    • See (a) pages 5 and 8 of the Annual Report.
    • But here on the website is about Partners worldwide.

Size of Charity

  • PRD is $99K under the threshold for the next size up, Medium.

Financial Year End

  • The next AIS is due by 30 June 2017. 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]

  • PRD holds a fundraising licence in all these states except ACT. Maybe it is exempt there? Or operating but not fundraising?

Operates in (Countries)

  • This matches this page on the website, which is where you can see what Partners worldwide does in each country (but not PRD particularly).

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • But there is one on the website, a little hidden under ‘About/Financials’.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

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

Jeff Fullelove               This function was not working at the time of publication

Steve Gumaer

Eric Holmes

Stephanie Jones

Robert Kilpatrick

David Martin

Brian Patchett

Joe Pereira

Catherine Polman

  • Is Stephanie Jones this one?
  • Is David Martin this one?
  • Compared with the list in the Management Committee Report (see Latest financial report – detail, below), Catherine Polman has replaced Julie Wilson.
  • The page on the website for ‘Leadership’ doesn’t seem to be about the Australian leadership.
  • Under ‘Position’
    • The office-bearers match those required by the constitution.
    • What is the distinction between ‘Other’ and ‘Board Member’ (David Martin).

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

(I use Pinnacle Financial Statements, respected in the profession as providing a very sound basis for producing compliant financial reports. To this I add an assessment of materiality (both quantitative and qualitative), where the users being considered are donors.)

  • The PRD/PRDOAF situation seems tailor-made for the ACNC’s joint reporting concession. Yet there is not even a mention of consolidation.
  • The Independent Auditor’s Report… , by Grant Dawson, uses language that has been superseded for many years.
  • The directors’ believe that PRD 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?
  • There are no figures for last year in the Notes.
  • For this size charity, rounding to the nearest dollar is usual. The inclusion of cents makes the report harder to read.

The cover page

  • The logo does not belong to PRD.
  • There is no indication that this is a report of PRD as a trustee for PRDOAF, and not of transactions, results and financial position of PRD in its own right.

The Management Committee Report (the first page of the Financial Report)

  • The report is undated.
  • Sections missing:
    • Objectives, short-term and long-term
    • Strategy for achieving the objectives
    • Performance measures
  • Sections not required:
    • Significant changes
    • Operating Result

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of Financial Performance (page 2 of the Financial Report)

  • The format of the report is long out-of-date. Other comprehensive income is therefore missing.

Income

  • Relief & Development Donations $114K
    • It is not possible to see how much was received for each of the three options on the website: ‘single donation’, ‘alternative gifts’ (for example a ‘full tummy’), and bequests.
    • Where are the donations referred to here?
      • Donations made to General Support are not tax-deductible and will be used for non-development activities such as our Bible School Support Program.

Expenses

  • Relief & Development $63K
  • Team Support (Field Workers) $36K
    • The combination of these first two items – ‘international programs’ – represents 60% of expenses.
  • Community Education Costs $20K, including Note 10
    • What are these? What is the relationship to promotion? Fundraising?
  • Fundraising Costs $22K, including Note 11
    • What is the distinction between the two subtypes?
    • This represents 6% of expenses.
  • Accountability & Administration Costs $16K, including Note 12
    • This is called ‘Administration’ in the Annual Report, and represents 12% of expenses.
  • Missing expenses:
    • Employee benefits
    • Depreciation (or an explanation somewhere as to why there isn’t any)

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

  • How are they able to operate without any property, plant or equipment?
  • 72% of the liabilities are borrowings from a related party. There is no disclosure of related parties.
  • Why, when PRD has employees, is there no employee benefits liability?

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to, and Forming Part of, the Accounts (page 6 of the Financial Report)

  • NOTE 1:    Statement of Accounting Policies
    • Why haven’t the Accounting Standards that are the industry-standard set for special purpose accounts been applied?
    • Incorrect information:  Not being a reporting entity doesn’t mean that Accounting Standards are irrelevant.
    • Missing information
      • Why it is thought that the charity is not a reporting entity.
      • A description of the entity; ‘individual’, ‘not-for-profit’ etc
      • Functional and presentation currency
      • The date the accounts were authorised for issue
    • Policy Notes missing
      • Revenue recognition
      • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
      • Cash and cash equivalents
      • Trade and other payables
      • Property, plant and equipment (it is unusual not to have any)
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Employee benefits (with employees, it is unusual not to have any)
      • New Accounting Standards and Interpretations not yet mandatory or early adopted
      • GST and other similar taxes.
  • NOTE 2: Income Tax
    • The exemption does not come from self-assessment, but from acceptance by the ATO.
    • This content should be in Note 1.
  • NOTE 3: Inventories
    • The valuation basis is not consistent with the Accounting Standards or, as they are thought not to apply, generally accepted accounting principles.
    • This content should be in Note 1.
  • NOTE 6: Ratio of Group Expenses to Net Expenses
    • ‘Group Expenses’?
  • NOTE 9: Program Support Expenses
    • The $8K for ‘Salaries & Superannuation’ is not the entirety of employee benefits expense. There is a similar item in two of the next three Notes, giving a total of $21K.
      • This represents 15% of expenses.
  • Notes missing
    • Remuneration of auditors
    • Critical accounting estimates and judgement
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Commitments
    • Events after the reporting period
    • Reconciliation of surplus after income tax to net cash from operating activities

Other Statements

  • In the Statement by Management Committee Members (page 9 of the Financial Report), there is no mention of the fact that PRD is acting as a trustee.
  • The Statement of Cash Flow (sic) (page 5 of the Financial Report) is not a statement of cash flows as defined by the Accounting Standards (or generally accepted accounting standards).
  • The incorrect format for the Statement of Financial Performance means that ‘Total comprehensive income for the year’ is missing from the Statement of Changes in Equity (page 5 of the Financial Report).

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

  • The ACFID.   Confirmed.
    • ‘As a signatory [to the Code of Conduct] we are committed and fully adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct, conducting our work with transparency, accountability and integrity.’
  • Not claimed, but PRD is also a member of Missions Interlink.

(End of review)

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

[ii] This appears to be a mistake: ‘The main source of income of the discretionary trust is from investment activities’, but that is not the case with PRDOAF.

[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.

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