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Evangelical Missionary Society in Mayurbhanj: mini charity review

Charity registration 'voluntarily revoked', effective 30 November 2019.  No ABN at 18 August 2021.

Mini charity review of Evangelical Missionary Society in Mayurbhanj (EMSM) an organisation that is exempt from Australian income tax via its membership of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review on 21 August 2017. This was their comment for publication:
    • (T)he Home and Field Councils are currently undergoing an extensive review regarding the future structure of the organisation and compliance issues both in Australia and India will be addressed in these changes.

Is EMSM registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • EMSM is an unincorporated association. (Not, as its ABN record still says, an ‘Other Incorporated Entity’, not, as the constitution says, ‘incorporated in the State of Queensland’, and not, as the Financial Report 2016 says, ‘incorporated’.)
  • Not registered for GST, but its turnover is well below the threshold.
  • EMSM operates, per the ACNC Register, only in Queensland. It does not have a fundraising licence there.

What do they do?

  • From the Council Members’ Report (in the Financial Report 2016):
    • The principal activities of the Association during the financial year were:

_ To provide support, encouragement and advice to the Field Council of EMSM and the Mayurbhanj Leprosy Home Executive Council in Mayurbhanj, India.

_ To promote support through prayer and giving for the work in India.

_ To receive and disburse funds to India.

  • The constitution (‘Government’) explains these two Councils:
    • There shall be two divisions known as (1) The Executive Council (previously known as the Field Council in India) and (2) The Consultative Council (previously known as the Home Council in Australia).
      • The cover of the Financial Report 2016 identifies EMSM as the Consultative Council.
  • So, EMSM is a support organisation of a charity in India.

Do they share the Gospel [1]?

  • No
  • Even though EMSM have registered ‘Advancing Religion’ as their sole ‘Entity Subtype’ on the ACNC Register, there is no mention of Christianity in the objects in the constitution.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • Assuming that ‘EMSM Field Support’, ‘IEM Pradeep Expenses’, and ‘MLH Field Support’ in the Income and Expenditure Report (all unexplained) are 100% about delivering impact, ‘administration’ is 5% of expenses.

Do they pay their directors?

  • From the information available it is not possible to be definitive, but it appears not.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • There is no information available.
  • Assuming that (net) donations were sent to India (see above), and following the disclosure in the Council Members’ Report (see above), the laws of India mean that we can go to a website and can see what money was received by the two Indian organisations from foreigners in a particular period.
    • For the year ended 31 March 2016, and using the translation rate at 30 September 2015,
      • $17,821 was received by Evangelical Missionary Society in Mayurbhanji.
      • $68,879 was received by Mayurbhanji Leprosy House in Mayurbhanji.
    • This $86,700 total compares to the $79,508 for the three expenses listed under ‘What do they spend…’ (above). Apart from slightly different translation rates, the difference is most likely explained by the fact that the year for the Indian returns finishes a quarter before the EMSM financial year.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • No information is available.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six months after year end, a week later than last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Not quite
    • Their description of activities doesn’t identify the subject of their efforts:
      • Prayer, correspondence, personal encouragement and support, general communication, advice and promotion.
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: NA
    • As a Basic Religious Charity, EMSM does not have to submit a Financial Report. And because it has submitted one voluntarily, the Report does not have comply with the ACNC’s requirements.
    • But as a member of Missions Interlink, it is required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]
    • The report that EMSM has lodged still doesn’t meet this requirement.
      • It is missing
        • two of the required financial statements,
        • the Notes to the accounts, and
        • the declaration by the responsible persons.
      • The absence of Notes means that
        • We don’t know the financial reporting framework adopted by the directors.
        • A true and fair view is threatened by the lack of explanation of the relationship between EMSM and the organisations to which it sent money.
    • One of the foundations of financial reporting, the accounting equation, has not been followed in the Statement of Financial Position: $150,925.67 less 66,000.00 does not equal $150,925.67.
    • Where’s the expense that balances the new $66K current liability for unpaid Indian taxes?
    • The audit report falls well short of what is required by the profession.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Given the issues above, no comment.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The Audit Report is by Leister Wallis, of Wallis Tax Accounting. Even though he is a Fellow of an accounting association that requires[2] compliance with the Australian Auditing Standards, the report is nothing like what is required by those Standards. And shows that the audit was not done as it should have been done. So, the ‘clean’ opinion he issued should not be relied on.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Yes
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank, but neither are compulsory.
    • The returns to the Indian government shows a different address: 31 Chapman Street Chapel Hill.
    • The constitution is marked ‘Proposal (Draft 3) Nov 2013’.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

To whom is EMSM accountable?

 

  1. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord? [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14. 
  2. ATMA By-laws, www.atma.com.au.
  3. The Indian returns show that she sent a donation direct to Mayurbhanji Leprosy House.
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