Management of the ClubGRANTS Scheme
Inadequate oversight of the clubgrants scheme
The ClubGRANTS scheme gives tax rebates to clubs for supporting their local community. Since 2002, $417 million of ClubGRANTS tax rebates have been given to clubs.
The scheme recognises the valuable role played by registered clubs in their local communities. However, the public must have confidence that the scheme is delivering genuine services to the community.
“This is government revenue foregone, but oversight of the ClubGRANTS scheme is not good enough to ensure this money is being spent properly”, said Mr Achterstraat.
There are three categories in this scheme.
“The biggest category of the scheme has minimal rules. Another category has rules but compliance is not monitored. And the committee that is supposed to oversight the third category of the scheme does not yet exist”, said Mr Achterstraat.
The governance arrangements of the scheme are complex. There are many stakeholders involved with various roles. Mr Achterstraat made a number of recommendations to improve oversight of the scheme and provide greater assurance that it is managed properly.
“The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) needs to improve the transparency of the ClubGRANTS scheme”, said Mr Achterstraat.
“The community wants to know how the money is spent. I am strongly recommending that OLGR ensures clubs publish on their websites details of how they spent the money”, added Mr Achterstraat.
“OLGR needs to improve the rebate approval process and establish a complaints mechanism to find out where the rules are not being followed”, said Mr Achterstraat. “It needs to strengthen the rules and monitor club compliance”, he added.
Clubs are entitled to a maximum of 2.25 per cent in tax rebates on gaming machine profits over $1 million. In 2012, 472 registered clubs participated in the scheme.
“Despite the shortcomings in oversight, I was pleased to find that participation of all sectors of the community in the scheme is strong and there have been successful projects funded by the scheme” said Mr Achterstraat.
Mr Achterstraat concluded: “Taxpayers have the right to know that clubs are using these rebates to benefit the community. OLGR needs to clarify the rules, pump-up the processes and monitor more”, said Mr Achterstraat.
Barry Underwood, Executive Officer, on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664; email: firstname.lastname@example.org