Tracking down The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation’s $1.3 million in ‘other expenses’ was as simple as paying a $5.50 membership fee and asking to inspect the charity’s financial accounts.
Sydney Star Observer made the request to BGF CEO Bev Lange after claims last week the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) had been asked to investigate the HIV charity’s expenses after months of “failed attempts … to have that CEO, her treasurer or auditors disclose where the money had in fact been spent”.
Gaining access to the financial records was as straightforward as becoming a BGF member and seeking to inspect their financial reports — an opportunity BGF says it had previously offered the complainants.
The largest amounts under the ‘other expenses’ ledger item include event production costs ($375,642); accounting and legal fees ($199,741); client programs ($186,575); and Charitie House prize money ($125, 750).
Other smaller items include staff training, administration costs, program administration costs and rental and outgoings.
DOWNLOAD: BGF expense details
SSO can confirm the OLGR audit started at 9am yesterday. Lange would not comment on the expense breakdown while the audit was underway.
However, BGF president Martin Walsh last week sent a letter to its supporters advising them of the investigation.
“Following an enquiry by two community members, BGF has been asked by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing to participate in a compliance audit,” the letter stated.
“As a registered charity, BGF welcomes this review and is willingly co-operating with the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing. This audit is being undertaken to determine whether our processes fully comply with the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW). There is no allegation of misappropriation of funds.
“The ‘other expenses’ item of $1,334,966 from the income statement in the financial report, which is the principal subject of the complaint, comprises fundraising expenses, client services expenses and administrative overheads. It is also important to note that BGF has given the complainants numerous opportunities to discuss their concerns with us directly. When they first raised their concerns about the changes to the provision of our client services, BGF’s Chief Executive Officer Bev Lange provided a written response.
“Bev then invited them to meet with her to discuss the issues in more detail. This invitation was declined.
“The complainants have also been invited to view our accounts at the BGF office. No response to this invitation has been received.”