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Published by Ken McLeod
OLGR's report on their findings of thier audit of the Australian Vaccination Network, (AVN). It is a damning indictment of the dishonesy and fraud that is Standard Operating Procedure at the AVN.
OLGR's report on their findings of thier audit of the Australian Vaccination Network, (AVN). It is a damning indictment of the dishonesy and fraud that is Standard Operating Procedure at the AVN.

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Published by: Ken McLeod on Mar 10, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Mr Ken McLeod
Our Ref: CI/2010/005476
 turlinja@internode.on.netDear Mr McLeodCompliance Officers from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, a division ofCommunities NSW have finalised an inquiry into the Australian Vaccination Network Inc(AVN), an organisation which is authorised to undertake fundraising appeals under theprovisions of the
Charitable Fundraising Act 1991
(the Act). The inquiry arose due tocomplaints from you and two other members of the public.I can advise that the inquiry did not detect any evidence of offences under the
Crimes Act 1900 
. The inquiry found that AVN is an organisation that is largely supported by members.Section 5 (3) of the Act specifically states that certain forms of fundraising do not constitutefundraising appeals for the purposes of the Act and therefore are outside of the Act’s jurisdiction. Of particular relevance to AVN are donations from members and membershiprenewals, neither of which constitutes fundraising appeals for the purpose of the Act. As theAVN accounting system did not distinguish between fundraising and non-fundraising incomefor the purpose of the Act at the time of the inquiry, it was not possible to determine an exactpercentage split of all AVN income. However a best estimate is that approximately 80% ofAVN income does not come within the jurisdiction of the Act.Evidence of a number of breaches by AVN of the Act, the Charitable Fundraising Regulation2008 and the conditions attached to authority to fundraise number 11694 were detectedduring the course of the inquiry. Further detail of individual breaches is provided in theattached Schedules of Breaches.You raised a number of concerns over some months. The concerns you raised areaddressed in either the Schedule of Breaches or the discussion of specific purpose appealslater in this letter. I reaffirm the Agency’s position that it regards AVN as pursuing a charitablepurpose as set out in the letter to you dated 15 October 2009 and I enclose a copy of thatletter for your information.In particular, I note that AVN conducted fundraising appeals for a charitable purpose duringthe period 5 July 2007 to 1 June 2009 without holding an authority to fundraise. I also note apossible perception by members of the public who access the Government Licensing websiteat licence.nsw.gov.au that the authority to fundraise granted to AVN on 2 June 2009 wasbackdated to 5 July 2007. This is not the case. However it is understandable why thisperception exists as the entry on the website states “Start date: 05/07/2002, Expiry date:01/06/2011”. This clearly implies that AVN held an authority to fundraise continuously from 5July 2002. This is not the case and accordingly, this entry is unintentionally misleading.
This appears to be a system problem which has been referred to the appropriate IT branchfor investigation and identification of possible solutions.During the course of the inquiry evidence of possible breaches of the
Charitable Trusts Act 1993 
was detected in relation to the following specific purpose appeals conducted by AVN:1. Fighting Fund – to support a homeless family, allegedly seeking to avoid a court orderto immunise a child with legal and living expenses. The appeal ran for a short time in2008 and raised $11,810. None of the funds were spent on this purpose.2. Advertising Appeal – initially this was an appeal for the specific purpose of raisingfunds for an advertisement in the Australian commencing in March 2009 andconcluding July 2009. The specific purpose was changed during the course of theappeal to fund advertisements in Child magazine. This appeal raised $11,910. Noneof the funds were applied to the specific purposes. It is noted that AVN did spendsome $15,000 during the period December 2009 to July 2010 on various forms ofadvertising.3. Bounty Bag Program and Vaccination Testing – for a number of years AVN hassolicited for donations generally in a manner where, despite it not being AVN’sintention, one specific purpose was created in that donations could only be spent onone or more of four purposes, including funding the provision of AVN material in theBounty Bag program and testing of vaccines. No funds raised have been spent onthese two purposes.There is evidence that funds donated for the above specific purposes have been applied toother purposes including the running costs of AVN. Accordingly these matters have beenreferred to the Department of Justice and Attorney General, the Department that administersand regulates the
Charitable Trusts Act 1993 
.As you are already aware the Minister revoked AVN’s authority to fundraise on 14 October2010 under the following grounds as set out in section 31 (1) of the Act and for the followingreasons:
(a) that any fundraising appeal conducted by the holder of the authority has not been conducted in good faith for charitable purposes 
The Organisation has failed to publish a disclaimer on its website as recommendedby the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). This has resulted in anunacceptable risk of potential donors to the Organisation being misled when making adecision whether or not to make a donation, which has led to appeals not beingconducted in good faith.
(c) that any fundraising appeal conducted by virtue of the authority has been improperly administered 
The Organisation’s website is misleading in that it may lead people making donationsto believe that they are donating to a cause which promotes vaccination whereas theOrganisation adopts an anti-vaccination position. When requested by the HCCC topublish a disclaimer on its website the Organisation failed to do so.
(f) in the public interest, the authority should be revoked 
The failure of the Organisation to comply with the HCCC recommendation resulted inthe Commission publishing a Public Warning on 26 July 2010 advising that this failure
“poses a risk to public health and safety”. In this circumstance it is in the publicinterest to not permit the Organisation to conduct fundraising appeals under the Act.The revocation will take effect on Wednesday 20 October 2010.Finally, I advise that the revocation of the authority to fundraise does not affect AVN’s abilityto accept donations from members and fees for renewals of membership.If you require further information please contact Simon Hughes on 02 9995 0630 or atSimon.Hughes@communities.nsw.gov.au .Yours sincerelyDaniel Zuccarini
A/Assistant Director Charities
18 October 2010

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