Charities receive red mark against their name
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), the national charity regulator, has struck a ‘red mark’ against thousands of late-filer charities.
The red mark will now appear on the Charity Register listing of over 3,500 charities that are more than six months overdue with their annual reporting to the ACNC.
The ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe, said that the majority of these charities were required to submit their 2015 Annual Information Statement by 31 January 2016.
“Submitting an Annual Information Statement to the ACNC each year is a legislative requirement for registered charities,” Pascoe said.
“This group has failed to meet that obligation and are now more than six months overdue.
“All charities that are more than six months overdue with their reporting will have a red mark on their Charity Register listing.”
The data each charity provides is published on the Charity Register, enabling those who want to give time or money to a charity to undertake their own due diligence.
“This helps community members and grant makers to assess the effectiveness of operations and good governance of charities when making their donation decisions,” said Pascoe.
“The public, volunteers, grant makers and donors should consider this a warning sign of a charity that is not meeting its obligations.”
Pascoe explained that while the submission date remains on the Charity Register, the red mark can be removed.
“Once the charity submits its overdue 2015 Annual Information Statement, the red mark will disappear,” Pascoe said.
“We have published a list of charities that have recently received a red mark to encourage them to act fast and submit their outstanding Annual Information Statement.
“To those who haven’t submitted yet, I urge you to join the 42,700 registered charities that have already submitted their 2015 Annual Information Statement.”
Pascoe said that the ACNC would continue to take steps to improve compliance with reporting requirements in the interest of public trust and confidence.
“Submitting an Annual Information Statement is not only a requirement of maintaining ACNC registration, it’s also a way for charities to demonstrate transparency and illustrate the work they are doing in the community,” she said.
“Much of the information charities provide the ACNC in the Annual Information Statement is uploaded onto the Charity Register – the free, searchable database, available to the public and donors.
“The Charity Register has been searched over 1.6 million times since the ACNC was established, so I strongly encourage those charities with outstanding reports to file them as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to their reputation.”
Pascoe also warned that continued non-compliance could result in greater consequences.
“Registered charities that continually fail to meet their reporting obligations may receive penalty notices from the ACNC,” Pascoe said.
“Under the ACNC Act we have the power to issue financial penalties up to the value of $4,260 per charity.
“Charities that fail to meet their reporting requirements for two reporting periods will also fall into the category of double defaulter, which is grounds for revocation.”