A new report released by Australia’s financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC, and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), identifies significant risks for non-profit organisations (NPOs) in relation to money laundering and terrorism financing.
The report, Australia’s non-profit organisation sector: money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment, is the first of its kind in Australia. The report found that the risk level for both money laundering and terrorism financing is ‘medium’.
ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM highlighted the risks facing Australian charities.
“Charities are crucial in getting funds into conflict zones and other unstable regions, and this is not without heightened risk.
All charities, whether they operate domestically or internationally, must understand money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) risks, and ensure they have robust risk-based governance practices to prevent criminal misuse,” Ms Pascoe said.
Acting AUSTRAC CEO, Peter Clark, said it was vital that government, industry and the NPO sector continue working together to keep the sector safe from criminal abuse and terrorism financing misuse.
“This risk assessment will assist our reporting entities who deal with NPOs to assess their level of vulnerability, strengthen their controls, and report suspicious activity to AUSTRAC”.
The report shows that Australian NPOs can better manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks through good governance, an understanding of risks, strong internal controls, and good accountability.
The assessment also identified the common characteristics of NPOs at higher risk of being misused for terrorism financing.
Australia’s non-profit organisation sector: money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment can be found online on the AUSTRAC website.