According to a report in The Australian a KPMG report says 84 out of 100 Companies hide bad news . This is in line with our long held view of Australian Publicly Listed Companies as bastions of dishonesty , duplicitous and unworthy of trusting your hard earned cash to. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission saw nothing wrong with the Mini- Mac Structure –a company structure designed to ensure that investors were most unlikely to prosper -while Manager MacQuarie Bank could make whatever charges it saw fit in management fees,whether their management resulted in growth or not. There has been growing evidence that at best the corporate regulator has been asleep at the wheel. Some stronger assertions have been put by other commentators. If accounting standards are lax or distorted in 84% of public companies and ASIC maintains silence, the local and international investment community would be remiss not to take note.

Our query relates to accountability standards for charities. They seem able to get away with meaningless broad definition accounting. Methods like hiding expensive consultancies provided by parties associated with directors as part of the cost of “Providing Services.” We have not come across a single Australian Charity which meets the American Institute of Philanthropy guidelines for a C rating, much less a higher grading. Even the AIP guidelines fail to adequately identify whether the Charity’s   services are identified by their target constituency as necessary or even desirable. We know of some Charities which appear to exist primarily to dispose of surplus or near use-by date stock in a tax efficient manner -as compared with meeting a constituent identified need. Other Charities are known to provide naughty receipts for the value of “in kind” donations ,leveraging considerable tax advantages for the corporate donor. Again,there doesn’t seem to be much accountability.

In NSW any organisation can operate an appeal for Charitable Donations legally as long as they have at least one charitable purpose. This style of legalised rort allows Multimillion -dollar -a -year businesses like anti-people contractor Mission Australia to solicit donations,for example in the name of Homeless people -despite homeless people having never asked for their “services”.

Broad term accounting also allows organisations such as Exodus Foundation to blur the actual expenditure of the millions which they receive in taxpayer and corporate donations as services, while providing meagre , substandard and often unusable services.

The public deserve and corporate donors and the long suffering Taxpayer deserve to know that they (and the people their donation is given to benefit) are getting what was paid for. Trust Bill Crews to do the right thing?? Few who know him do and all who encounter him (or his Exodus Foundation) are wise to check thoroughly where the money goes. Not much value gets to Homeless people from the Millions he gets annually.

We heard about the debacles of the Victorian Bushfires Appeal and the subsequent use of those funds to finance a government commission of inquiry -not the donors intended purpose. We remember how the Salvation Army callously sought to keep an unreasonably high percentage as a management fee if the funds were put through their existing accounts. We witnessed the Tsunami Aid Appeal debacle and more recently the use of Haiti Aid money to fund US political policies -and Hapless Haitian victims continue to be terrorised and die through lack of appropriate Aid despite huge outpourings of giving worldwide –Wheres the bloody money???

 

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