Partners Relief & Development Australia Inc: charity review

A charity review of Partners Relief & Development Australia Incorporated (PRD), an organisation that seeks donations online and is a member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.

For the previous review, see here.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • They invite feedback and complaints.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Although they did not respond last year, this year they sent the following comment for publication:
    • ‘We acknowledge and appreciate the review, and are working on addressing issues raised.’

Is PRD registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • PRD is a New South Wales incorporated association (No. INC9883499). PRDOAF is a trust[1], a public ancillary fund.
  • PRD holds no business names. The law[2] therefore requires it to use its full name in all the usual places that a name is used.
  • PRD (and PRDOAF) operate – per the ACNC Register – throughout Australia. And have an internet invitation to give.
    • PRD does not have the required registration to carry on business interstate.
    • It holds a fundraising licence in all states where one might be required except Victoria. They had one there last year – what’s changed?
  • PRD (and PRDOAF) operate overseas – per the ACNC Register – in Myanmar and Thailand.
    • But they also collect donations for ‘Middle East’.

What do they do?

  • PRD (and therefore PRDOAF) fundraises for Partners Relief and Development projects in Myanmar and Thailand [Group Financial Report 2016], and advocates ‘for people living in Myanmar/Thailand who have been affected by war and oppression.’ [Group AIS 2016].

Do they share the Gospel?[3]

  • This is not part of what PRD/PRDOAF is about.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.
  • For Partners Relief & Development globally, see here for a page on what they see as their impact.

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

  • If we assume that impact delivery is measured by ‘Total Funds to International Programs’, then ‘administration’ was 33% of expenses.

Do they pay their board members?

  • The governing document does not allow this.
  • There is insufficient disclosure of expenses to check.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • PRD: Yes
    • And yet, without explanation, there are two giving options that do not result in a tax deduction.
  • PRDOAF: Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • PRD/PRDOAF (joint website): Although they have substituted the Partners Relief & Development logo for the PayPal logo on the first page, the next page shows that the donation goes to PayPal, so yes, it is secure.

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

  • PRD/PRDOAF (joint website):
    • Development projects (tax deductible)
    • Save the Rohingya (tax deductible)
    • Emergency relief (tax deductible)
    • Where Needed Most (tax deductible)
    • Monica Parker Support (tax deductible)
    • Bible Schools (not tax deductible)
    • Middle East (not tax deductible)

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • PRD: Yes (four months after their year-end, two months earlier than last year).
  • PRDOAF: ditto
  • PRD Group: Yes (three and a half months after their year-end).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now over 13 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • PRD AIS 2016: NA – see Group AIS
  • PRDOAF AIS 2016: NA – see Group AIS
  • Group AIS 2016: No
    • PRD/PRDOAF doesn’t operate ‘overseas including delivering programs’.
    • Three of the financial figures do not match those in the financial statements.
    • Why would a financial report be submitted to the Queensland, Victorian and Western Australian regulators of incorporated associations?
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • PRD Financial Report 2016: NA – see Group report
  • PRDOAF Financial Report 2016: NA – see Group report
  • PRD Group Financial Report 2016[4]: No[5]
    • There is no mention that this report covers two charities.
    • The auditor uses language that was superseded in 2006.
    • One of the four required financial statements, a cash flow statement, is missing.
    • The Statement of Financial Performance is missing the section ‘Other Comprehensive Income’.
      • This causes the Statement of Changes in Equity to be incorrect.
    • The directors have chosen special purpose financial statements over the type that requires them to comply with all the Accounting Standards. Even though the Group’s turnover is low, it employs professional staff, operates throughout Australia and in at least two countries overseas, and seeks donations from the public.
      • The directors give no reason for this choice.
      • Why haven’t the Accounting Standards that are industry-standard for special purpose accounts been applied?
      • They are not correct in saying that not being a reporting entity means that Accounting Standards are irrelevant.
    • There is no related parties’ disclosure.
    • They do not explain how they can operate without any plant and equipment.
    • There are no figures for last year in the Notes.
    • They use a logo on the Financial Report that does not belong to them (but to the US organsation).
    • Why, when PRD has employees, is there no employee benefits liability?
    • Most of the usual policy Notes are missing.
    • The valuation method for inventories conflicts with the Accounting Standards.
    • Many the usual Notes are missing.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The surplus as a percentage of revenue declined from 7% to 3%.
  • Both short-term and long-term financial structure are sound.

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • Other than to overseas this is not disclosed.
  • From page 2 of the ‘Annual Report 2016’, it appears that all the money goes to a Thai organisation called Mitmaitree Foundation on behalf of ‘Partners Relief & Development Operations’. No information could be found on either of these organsiations.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, Grant Dawson, Chartered Accountant, gave a ‘clean’ opinion.
  • But before you decide how much comfort to take from this result, read again the section ‘Group Financial Report 2016’ above.

If a charity, is their information on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • PRD: It is questionable whether the trustee’s name is another name for PRDOAF. (It’s not legally one.)
  • PRDOAF:  No
    • A PO Box number instead of a street address.
    • It is questionable whether the trustee’s name is another name for PRDOAF. (It’s not legally one.)
  • Group: Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The people shown here.
  • Per the ACNC Register, under ‘Responsible Persons’, the same people except add Daffodil Sawmei:
    • Jeff Fullelove
    • Eric Holmes
    • Stephanie Jones
    • Robert Kilpatrick
    • Brian Patchett
    • Joe Pereira
    • Daffodil Sawmei
  • The board members are responsible to the members. The number of members is not disclosed.

To whom are they accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
    • Its ‘Charity Tick’ is used in the website footer in support of you giving to them.  And rightly so, because it would be unwise to give to a charity that is unregistered.   The ‘tick’ also means PWMC’s AIS is not overdue, and the ACNC has not taken any compliance action against it.
  • To 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.’
  • To the New South Wales regulator of incorporated associations.
  • Not claimed on the website, but they are a Member of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. Not though, as it is still recording on its ABN record, a discretionary investment trust.
  2. ‘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).’
  3. “Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.
  4. As a ‘Small’ charity, PRD didn’t have to lodge a report. But its membership of Missions Interlink 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].
  5. 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.

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