The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has revoked the charity registration of Devonport Community Church following an investigation. The revocation appears on its ACNC Charity Register record.
Revocation of charity registration takes away the organisation’s Commonwealth charity tax concessions, including income tax exemption, fringe benefits tax rebates and goods and services tax concessions.
Devonport Community Church (ABN 68381729089) was registered by the ACNC effective 3 December 2012, when the ACNC was established, with the purpose of advancing religion. Its registration was revoked on 29 November 2021.
ACNC Assistant Commissioner – General Counsel Anna Longley said the ACNC revokes a charity’s registration only in the most serious cases of non-compliance.
“Charities are required to meet their obligations to the ACNC and they must act in accordance with the ACNC Governance Standards and External Conduct Standards,” Ms Longley said.
“In taking compliance and enforcement action, the ACNC follows its Regulatory Approach Statement to ensure that matters are investigated properly, the appropriate compliance action is taken, and our regulatory action is proportionate to the problems we seek to address. We take all concerns about registered charities seriously and will investigate and take compliance action as appropriate.
“A charity affected by ACNC compliance action has rights of review and appeal, including through external avenues such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, so it is critical that we apply proper decision-making principles, and that our processes are fair and robust.”
Although the revocation is recorded on the Charity Register and the Compliance Decisions page the ACNC is prevented from publishing investigation findings or the nature of the concerns, due to provisions in the ACNC Act.
Anyone can raise a concern about a charity on the ACNC website. Receiving and investigating concerns about charities is a key component of the ACNC’s work to maintain confidence in the sector.
In 2020-21, the ACNC received 2,001 concerns about charities, a slight fall on the previous year’s total of 2,102. The most common concerns were about perceived mismanagement of funds or an individual obtaining private benefit from a charity.