Watchdog strips status from 13 charities
More than a dozen charities have been stripped of their registration in the past year by the national watchdog due to serious non-compliance issues.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s 2020/21 annual report revealed the charity status of 13 organisations was removed in the past financial year.
The report also showed 76 charities were investigated for non-compliance issues.
However, the number of charities or not-for-profits being stripped of their status has remained stable compared to previous years.
The watchdog received more than 2000 complaints lodged by the public in the 2020/21 financial year.
“The most common concerns were about perceived mismanagement of funds or individuals obtaining private benefits from charities,” the report said.
While the commission said action against some charities was delayed due to the impact of the Black Summer bushfires, investigations still proceeded in serious instances.
“When we did act against a charity affected by bushfires, we did so because we considered it a high risk to allow the charity to remain registered,” the report said.
A previous report had indicated Australian charities received more than $640 million in donations following the Black Summer bushfires.
Commissioner Dr Gary Johns said he expected many organisations hard hit by COVID or the bushfires to be able to bounce back.
“While we are yet to see the full effect of the bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic on the charity sector, I expect the resilience, innovation and determination that permeates so much of the sector to help it emerge in a relatively strong position,” he said.