ACNC confirms it is investigating Hillsong
AUSTRALIA’s national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has confirmed it is investigating concerns raised about Hillsong Church.
ACNC Commissioner Sue Woodward said it was extremely rare that the ACNC commented on matters under investigation, however she has used her discretion to correct the record following statements in the Australian Parliament on Friday.
“Although it was stated in Parliament that the ACNC has not acted, I can confirm that we are investigating concerns raised about Hillsong Church charities. Hillsong has stated publicly that it is fully cooperating with regulatory authorities,” Ms Woodward said.
Further, Ms Woodward said the ACNC has not received a whistleblower disclosure, despite a claim made under Parliamentary privilege that it had.
“If a whistleblower of a charity wants protection, or is concerned about possible harm as a result of making a disclosure, they must raise concerns with an agency deemed to be an eligible recipient," she said. "The ACNC is not an eligible recipient and we are not able to provide protection.
“Anyone can raise a concern about a charity with the ACNC. No matter where a concern originates, we use a standard independent process to review its details and, if necessary, we conduct an investigation. Any investigation we undertake must be thorough, comprehensive and consistent with our approach to all investigations. They can be complex and take time to complete.”
The ACNC provides Whistleblower Protection guidance that outlines the procedures that a whistleblower can follow.
The ACNC regulates 60,000 registered charities, listed on the Charity Register.