World Vision Australia issued the following statement as of 9th March 2020:
As some of World Vision Australia’s most valued supporters I was keen to connect with you as soon as possible to bring you across a report in today’s media and to share our response.
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald this morning reported that in 2013, a World Vision Australia staff member engaged his father to run a Request for Proposal to employ a new printing company, and that the staff member did not declare a conflict of interest.
The papers further allege that the staff member’s father collected annual commissions from the printing company and that these commissions were never disclosed to World Vision Australia.
The World Vision Australia Board, its leadership team, and me personally, are deeply concerned by these allegations.
Let me assure you that upon being alerted to the allegations last week, World Vision Australia took immediate steps to ensure the claims are fully investigated as a matter of urgency.
Since becoming aware of the allegations on Tuesday, March 3, World Vision Australia immediately:
- notified Victoria Police;
- arranged for KPMG to undertake a formal, independent investigation of this matter;
- engaged workplace investigation and mediation service iHR Australia to conduct aninvestigation into the role of a staff member in the matter; and
- notified the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
We also temporarily suspended the staff member named in the allegations, pending the outcome of the investigations and advised our Board of the allegations.
World Vision Australia is committed to keeping the investigation independent, so will wait to be advised by KPMG before we can make any further comment on the matter.
In separate and unrelated news, our CEO Claire Rogers has decided to step down after three and a half years of outstanding service, to spend more time with her family and rest before starting the next chapter of her career.
This announcement was planned for Wednesday, but we brought it forward because of the unfortunate timing of the allegations reported today. Claire is assisting our Acting CEO Graham Strong to ensure an orderly transition.
In all of this, we remain committed to ensuring our work to support and uplift the world’s most vulnerable children is not disrupted. That remains our first and most urgent priority. This is heightened by the current threats of COVID-19 and the locust plague in Africa.
Your support makes this crucial work possible and my team and I will keep you updated as to the outcomes of these investigations. I assure you that all appropriate action will be taken, and these matters will have no impact on our work in helping the world’s most vulnerable children. In addition, the allegations published in The Age are regarding paid commissions between a supplier and a third party and to our knowledge did not involve any misuse of donor funds.
The World Vision Australia team is committed to being completely transparent on the matters raised in the media today, and ahead of publication shared:
- A statement from World Vision Australia Board Chair, Shannon Adams, in re. to Claire Rogers resignation which can be viewed here
- World Vision Australia’s response to the allegations published in media which be viewed here
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have further questions. I am also happy to connect you with our Acting CEO, Graham Strong.
With best wishes,
Head of Strategic Alliances
World Vision Australia