Tahlee Ministries Inc: mini charity review

Mini charity review of Tahlee Ministries Inc (TM) as an organisation that depends on the public for funds, and that is a member of, and has a cross directorship (John Anderson) with, Missions Interlink[1]. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For last year’s review, see here.

Are TM responsive to feedback?

  • I sent TM a draft of the review on 26 June 2017. Like last year, they did not respond. (That draft has been updated for TM’s later lodgment of their Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016.)

Is TM registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • TM still has another ABN in its name. Not a charity – leftover from some earlier venture?
  • Other registrations:
    • As a NSW incorporated association (Y2385120).
    • TM operates in Australia, according to the ACNC Register, in New South Wales only. It therefore does not need an ARBN registration to carry on business interstate.
    • Although it has not shown them on their ABN record, and only one is on the ACNC Register entry, TM has two registered business names: Tahlee Bible College and Port Stephens College. However, neither one is needed– both these organisations are charities in their own right (see below).
    • The New South Wales Act governing fundraising – except Sec 48 – does not apply to TM[2] (it is a prescribed organization by regulation.)
      • And it would only have to register in the other six states that have a licensing regime if they held that the invitation to give on the internet was ‘fundraising’.
    • There are two other charities operating from the same address and with some or many of the same ‘Responsible Persons’ as TM:
      • Tahlee Bible College
        • TM’s constitution defines the College as ‘the trading name for training and education programmes of the organisation’.
        • The College was four months late in submitting its Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2015 (an improvement on seven months last year).
        • It still hasn’t selected an Entity Subtype.
      • Port Stephens College
        • The College is 12 months late in submitting its AIS 2015, and the AIS 2016 is now due as well.
      • Whether, and to what extent, these charities have been consolidated, is unclear (see below).
      • TM has not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions.
    • There are also two TM charities that have had their registration revoked by the ACNC:

What does TM do?

  • See their website, here.
  • Their AIS 2016 doesn’t help much with the particulars of what happened in 2016:
    • Offering training, Christian education, camps.

Do they share the Gospel [3]?

  • No.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

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?

  • No.
    • You can, however, get one for a donation to either of the two funds that belong to Tahlee Bible College.

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (but four days late, 6+ months after their year-end.)

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: No
    • Only four of the figures match those in the financial statements.
    • They incorrectly say that general purpose financial statements were prepared.
    • The ‘activities’ are a poor description of what happened in 2016.
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: No
    • A cash flow statement has not been included.
    • The Directors’ Declaration is incomplete and unsigned.
    • The Consolidated Profit and Loss Statement is materially incorrect.
    • The directors give no reason for saying that TM is not a reporting entity.
    • The financial statements are described as ‘consolidated financial statements’, but the entities that have been consolidated have not been identified.
    • Not all the Accounting Standards required by law for special purpose financial statements have been followed.
    • The Notes to the accounts omit most of what is required.
    • Many of the 2015 figures, without explanation, do not match those published last year.
    • TM does not have any internal controls in place to ensure that all donations that are received make their way into the charity’s bank account.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • The state of the Report (see above) gives an insufficient basis for commenting reliably.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • Given the issues with the financial statements above, you would be entitled not to put too much store in the fact that the auditor, Ashley Dorse of A J Dorse Accounting, gave a ‘clean’ opinion.
    • Especially as Ashley is not a Registered Auditor, a registration that is required in order to conduct an audit on TM (a ‘Medium’ charity).

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

  • No.
    • An Entity Subtype still hasn’t been selected.
    • A business name is missing.

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

  • NA

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website.
  • Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • John Anderson
    • Kathryn Bolte
    • Wayne Forward
    • Fraser Hannam
    • Peter Romanowski
    • Betty Stanbury
    • There are 29 directorships recorded for the name ‘John Anderson’.  And the register only covers charities, not all not-for-profits, and of course no for-profit organisations.  Therefore, if after eliminating the charities for which John is not a director, you are left with the total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.

To whom are TM accountable?

  • Not claimed on the website, but they are a member of Missions Interlink.
    • One of the directors of TM (and the other two TM charities), John Anderson, is part of the National Leadership Team and on the board of Missions Interlink (Australian Evangelical Alliance).
  • As a registered charity, they are accountable to the ACNC.
  • Also to the New South Wales regulator of incorporated associations.

 

 

 

  1. Missions Interlink is an organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
  2. Except Sec 48.
  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.