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Risky business: Operating overseas under the new external conduct standards

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s new external conduct standards are coming. If your charity operates outside Australia, you need to start thinking about how you manage risk now, writes Oliver May.

Counter-terrorist financing is amongst the issues covered by the new External Conduct Standards for charities operating overseas. The four standards are due to activate in July 2019, and risk management is a key theme. To comply with the standard on anti-fraud and corruption, for example, many charities will need to show reasonable steps to minimise the risks of fraud, bribery, corruption and other financial impropriety.

These risks cannot be eliminated, and it is not the expectation that they are. The expectation is that in-scope charities identify and take reasonable steps to mitigate them. A fraud and corruption risk assessment could help to demonstrate this.

But there’s a problem. Risk assessment has a bad name for many in the charity sector. Too many unwieldy documents, over-complicated processes, or “tick-box” approaches have damaged how we think about risk.

To view the ProBono article in full, click here.

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