Early last week we announced that the ACNC is working with a number of drought relief charities after concerns were raised about their operations.

The ACNC has contacted Rural Aid Ltd and Aussie Helpers Ltd to seek assurances that the influx of goods and funds being donated gets to those in need.

Australians have been incredibly generous in response to the declared drought in rural areas – and the ACNC wants to ensure that the donated goods and money are being managed appropriately and effectively.

Staff from the ACNC have visited these charities' operations, and we are continuing to work with the charities to understand their programs and confirm there are procedures and practices in place to manage the increase in resources.

Our enquiries are ongoing, but both charities have been fully cooperative.

The secrecy provisions in the ACNC Act prevent us from disclosing any further details about this matter or the nature of the concerns received. However, if formal action is taken against a charity, this will appear on the ACNC Charity Register.

If you have concerns about the activities of a charity, you may wish to raise these via the ACNC website.

No action required in response to Gemba360 email

It has been brought to our attention that many charities received an email from a registered charity called Gemba360, which referenced the creation of a charity’s governance dashboard and offers of governance assistance.

The ACNC has not endorsed the email and its contents, and the email was sent without our knowledge.

It is our understanding that the emails were issued to the Address for Service of registered charities, which are publicly available on the ACNC Charity Register. The ACNC Charity Portal and systems have not been hacked.

Charities are not required to take any action if they received this email, and the information in it does not relate in any way to accessing the new Charity Portal.

Charities will be contacted by the ACNC directly over the coming weeks with further instructions on how to access the Charity Portal. If you require further assistance, please visit acnc.gov.au/charityportal.

Charity status revoked following ACNC investigation

The ACNC has revoked the charity status of Slice of Life (Aust) Pty Limited (ABN: 31117826187) following a compliance investigation.

The organisation was endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office to access Commonwealth charity tax concessions including goods and services tax (GST) concessions. It was also endorsed as a deductible gift recipient (DGR).

This charity has now lost access to these Commonwealth charity tax concessions.

We are prevented from disclosing further details due to secrecy provisions in the ACNC Act. However, we publish instances where we use our formal powers – including where we revoke a charity's registration – on the Charity Register and at acnc.gov.au/compliancedecisions.

Each month we receive around 150 concerns about charities, many of which are submitted by members of the public. If you have concerns about a registered charity, you can let us know via the ACNC website.

Next ACNC webinar looks at charity efficiency and effectiveness

The ACNC’s final webinar for 2018 will be held on Tuesday 20 November, and focusses on efficiency and effectiveness in running a charity.

Join us as we look at ways your charity can examine if it is operating efficiently and effectively, as well as discuss key issues including mergers and collaborations.

To sign up for our next webinar, or download recordings of all previous ACNC webinars, visit the ACNC website.

Delays in Advice Services response times

The recent ACNC IT upgrade has seen record numbers of enquiries over the last four weeks, which has increased call wait times and enquiry response times. I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Our Advice team is working incredibly hard to manage the influx of queries, and we are currently working through a significant backlog.

If you have submitted an enquiry, please be assured that our team are working to respond as soon as possible. There is no need to follow-up on behalf of your charity.

We thank you for your patience and apologise again for the inconvenience.

Please be reminded that all charities with an Annual Information Statement due date between 31 December 2018 and 28 February 2019 now have until 31 March 2019 to submit their reporting.

Best wishes,

The Hon Dr Gary Johns