Anti-Terrorism & Anti-Fraud
1.1 Anti-Terrorism Policy
Last Updated: November 2020
1.1.1 Introduction and Purpose
The purpose of the VACD Ltd. Anti-Terrorism Policy is to promote awareness and prevent any form of support of terrorism. Specifically, this Policy seeks to prevent, detect, and deter facilitation of and the unknowing support of terrorist groups/organisations or individuals associated with terrorism and/or organised crime in countries where we function.
VACD Ltd. complies with the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005 passed by the Australian Federal Government on 6th December 2005 and the Criminal Code Act 1995 to uphold its integrity as a humanitarian and benevolent organisation domiciled in Australia and with registered chapters in Sri Lanka and the USA.
1.1.2 Important Definitions
1) The act, or threat of action, where the action causes certain defined forms of harm or interference and the action is done or the threat is made with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
2) An ‘individual or group associated with terrorism’ includes: – Those listed on the National Security Australia website: www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/ under “Listed Terrorist Organisations” and those named/listed on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website: http://www.dfat.gov.au/
3) Those listed by the Sri Lankan, USA or any other global government or authority as “terrorists or suspected terrorists”
Organised Crime: A conspiratorial enterprise engaged in illegal activities as a means of generating income.
This Policy and Procedures apply to all of VACD Ltd. leadership, members, staff, volunteers and VACD Ltd. partners and contractors who share in our activities in Australia, Sri Lanka, and the USA.
1.1.4 Guiding Principles
VACD Ltd. has a zero-tolerance policy towards any association with terrorism and/or organised crime. To that end, VACD Ltd. will ensure:
a) funds are not provided directly or indirectly to individuals or organisations associated with terrorism and/or organised crime;
b) all individuals or organisations involved in implementing/facilitating projects on behalf of VACD Ltd. are not associated directly or indirectly to organisations or individuals associated with terrorism and/or organised crime;
c) all individuals or organisations involved with the general practice and functionality of VACD Ltd. adhere and comply with the relevant laws, regulations and policies of Australia and the countries in which VACD Ltd. operates;
d) any breach of this Policy must be immediately brought to the attention of the Australian, Sri Lankan and the USA Governments or the appropriate authorities in any other jurisdiction in which VACD Ltd. operates and, if appropriate, the National Security Hotline (1800 123 400, firstname.lastname@example.org ) and/or the Australian Federal Police (131 444, www.afp.gov.au) or any such overseas authority.
VACD Ltd. and its partners must comply with counter-terrorism laws and policies through ongoing monitoring of activities of all partners and beneficiaries. They will use their best endeavours to ensure that there are no links whatsoever with any entity or individual associated with terrorism. VACD Ltd. partners are required to:
a) know the persons/organisations that are being directly assisted by them;
b) make sure that people/organisations being directly assisted are not on either of the lists published by the anti-terrorism and security services in all countries in which VACD Ltd. operates before assistance is provided, and ensure that appropriate security updates provided by various authorities via their websites or other forms of communication are taken into account;
c) make sure that directly funded persons/organisations are aware of and are obliged to comply with these laws, and that they in turn are obliged to make sure that their distribution of the funds or support is made on the same basis and strict criteria;
d) apply particular caution where:
i) proscribed organisations or individuals are known to be in the area and/or
ii) the scale of financial or material support transaction is such that it could potentially provide significant support to a proscribed individual or organization.
e) advise VACD Ltd. leadership immediately, if the partner becomes aware of any breach of these guidelines by any such affiliated organisation or group.
VACD Ltd. has and will continue to review and provide appropriate training, processes, and systems it has in place to prevent the facilitation of terrorism financing. The following procedures in place must be complied with at all times:
126.96.36.199 Humanitarian Projects
In identifying and committing to a project within Australia or internationally, all necessary due diligence processes must be completed and approved. This process includes a mandatory check of DFAT’s list of proscribed organisations to identify any potential Non-Government Organisation (NGO) partners that may be listed therein or on the National Security Australia website, and other proscribed organisations listed by the governments of Sri Lanka and the USA.
188.8.131.52 Partnership Agreements
a) When VACD Ltd. enters into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with project partners, the MoU must outline the obligations and objectives of VACD Ltd. and be in accordance with relevant laws, policies and regulations of Australia and the country in which the project will be implemented, relating to anti-terrorism procedures. The MoU must expressly stipulate that a breach of the anti-terrorism policies will permit VACD Ltd. to withdraw all funding that has been provided to the partner.
b) As part of implementation and monitoring of the project, the Project Funding Checklist must stipulate the amount of funds, the purpose of the funds and supporting receipts of payments so as to record, document and retain the basis for the payments made to VACD Ltd. partners.
184.108.40.206 Staff and Volunteers
a) All persons to whom this Policy applies (see ‘Scope’ above) must be made aware, educated, and trained about terrorism and related issues.
b) All members of our leadership teams, staff, volunteers, and collaborative organisations may be subjected to a police check in Australia and/or country of operation if appropriate.
c) Leadership team, staff, members, team, and volunteers engaged in international and local volunteer programs must undergo a screening process prior to commencing their work with VACD Ltd.
d) International volunteers may also need to complete the necessary equivalent mandatory checks in the country of operation.
1.2 Anti-Fraud and Anti Money Laundering Policy
Last Updated: November 2020
1.2.1 Introduction and Purpose
VACD Ltd. has a zero tolerance policy towards fraud, money laundering, and corruption. We recognise that our work occurs in a challenging environment where there are elevated risks of fraud and money laundering, both overseas and in Australia. It is essential that we conduct a thorough risk analysis of our projects and implement our Anti-Fraud and Anti-Money Laundering Policies through our operational procedures to address and manage these risks.
1.2.2 Important Definitions
Fraud: Dishonestly obtaining a benefit, or causing a loss, by deception or other means. It can include:
- the misappropriation of funds for private gain;
- theft such as stealing property;
- misuse of property e.g. office space for private gain;
- bribery of foreign public officials to implement work;
- diversion of aid to non-target groups;
- preferential treatment for family and friends;
- coercion or intimidation of staff, volunteers or beneficiaries to ignore or participate in corruption;
- manipulating or falsifying financial or other documents for private gain. Private gain can refer to individual benefits, as well as benefits received by communities, ethnic groups, religious groups, political organisations, corporations or militia.
Money Laundering: The hiding, disguising, or legitimising of the true origin and ownership of money used in or derived from committing crimes.
VACD Ltd. recognises that the prevention and detection of fraud and money laundering is the responsibility of every member of our organisation, including the leadership, members, staff, team, and volunteers, as well as our overseas partner organisations. As such, it is the responsibility of VACD Ltd. to create an ethical and conducive culture to encourage fraud and money laundering prevention. All our leadership, members, staff, team and volunteers must adhere to and abide by our Anti-Fraud and Anti-Money Laundering Policies and understand that it is their responsibility to prevent fraud and money laundering by reporting suspected incidents to their respective leadership teams and boards.
1.2.4 Our Commitment
VACD Ltd. recognises the importance of fraud and money laundering prevention and aims to create an organisational culture that discourages any fraudulent or corrupt activities. Fraud and money laundering negatively impacts our leadership, members, beneficiaries, sponsors, staff, team, volunteers, partner organisations, governments, and seriously damages public confidence in our ability to undertake sustainable humanitarian and development work.
We are committed to preventing fraud and money laundering through our strict policies of:
- vetting leadership, staff, volunteers, and our partner organisations on a best practice basis;
- educating our leadership, staff, members, teams and volunteers on fraud and money laundering prevention;
- ensuring our partner organisations implement fraud and money laundering prevention through their own Due Diligence, MoU, and Engagement Processes;
- rigorously monitoring all our financial transactions;
- rigorously monitoring all our project implementation, management, and outcomes;
- thorough internal auditing.
- dedicated fraud and money laundering detection, reporting and investigation.
VACD Ltd. must create an environment that encourages fraud and money laundering prevention. Our leadership, members, staff, teams, and volunteers must be recruited with proper reference and credential checks. Additionally, our leadership team, members, staff, and volunteers must be enlightened, educated and made aware of VACD Ltd.’s organisational mission, values and goals, and appreciate what is expected of them in their respective roles and the discharge of their respective duties. VACD must undertake an extensive process of due diligence before working with partner organisations during any project evaluation or implementation process, that will ensure that our partner organisations adhere to and share our values, compliance & governance and anti-fraud and anti-money laundering policies.
We are committed to providing the leadership, members, staff, volunteers, and partner organisations with induction training in our Code of Conduct Policy, ethics, and fraud and money laundering awareness and prevention. Given our relatively small organisational size, we must ensure that our leadership team, members, staff and volunteers remain aware of our Anti-Fraud and Anti-Money Laundering Policy through continual engagement on this issue between the leadership team and other team members.
- We have policies in place to rigorously monitor financial transactions, as is outlined in our guidelines and retain our effective financial management program that allows us to record, track and reconcile fundraising and donation revenue with funds deployed in various projects and programs. Regular project/program budgets are prepared and tracked closely to detect any variance in expenditure. Budget reviews are undertaken regularly. All expenditure has dual authorization.
- VACD Ltd. also rigorously monitors the design, implementation, management and results of our overseas projects and programs. We believe that monitoring and evaluation is a crucial part of determining the success of our projects and partners, and a key part of our measures of success is ensuring our funds remain ‘clean’ and are only deployed for our beneficiaries. This includes:
1) A process where VACD Ltd. works with the partner to implement a program or project with proper due diligence, including the project plan and project budget.
2) A process during and after the project where VACD Ltd. conducts monitoring discussions with the project leader and our partner organisation. This monitoring includes internal monitoring from VACD Ltd. representatives on-site, as well as independent third party monitoring on-site. The frequency of the monitoring varies according to the type of project undertaken.
3) VACD Ltd. additionally undergoes periodic internal auditing processes. At least once every year, the accounts of the organisation are examined by qualified internal and external auditors, who must report to the board members in accordance with the Australian Federal Government’s Corporations Act 2001.
VACD Ltd. will maintain a “zero tolerance” attitude towards fraud and/or money laundering. This means that any case of alleged, suspected or detected fraud and/or money laundering must be reported immediately to the VACD Ltd. Chairman and/or Board.
VACD Ltd. shall:
- investigate all reported cases of alleged, suspected or detected fraud and/or money laundering;
- report any alleged, suspected or detected fraud and or money laundering to the Chief Executive Officer of AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre – www.austrac.gov.au/ ) and/or the Customs Authorities (www.customs.gov.au/ ) and/or The Australian Federal or local Police Authorities (www.afp.gov.au/ or www.police.nsw.gov.au/)
- prosecute or apply other appropriate sanctions against those who have committed fraud and /or money laundering;
- seek the recovery of misappropriated funds or assets wherever possible;
- inform the donor as per contractual requirements about the defrauded funds where the funds relate to an institutional donor, such as the Australian Government.
VACD Ltd. leadership will thoroughly investigate any allegations of misused funds. If any financial activity appears to relate to fraud or money laundering, pertinent details will be passed on to the relevant authorities for their investigation. VACD Ltd. will then await the outcome from the investigation and act in accordance with the recommendations from the relevant authority.
We will adhere to accepted principles and practices relating to “Whistle-Blower Policies” and apply a process through which our leadership, members, staff and volunteers report allegations of fraud and money laundering and remain committed to upholding and adhering to VACD Ltd. values, principles and guidelines that are intended to identify and prevent fraud and money laundering as outlined above.
We are committed to ensuring no negative outcomes occur for whistle-blowers acting in good faith.
Investigations must be completed in a confidential, prompt and professional manner according to established guidelines. If allegations of fraud and money laundering are proved to be correct, VACD Ltd. leadership is committed to taking disciplinary action in a transparent and fair manner.
1.2.9 The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006
The objectives of this Act include:
(a) to fulfil Australia’s international obligations, including:
(i) Australia’s international obligations to combat money laundering; and
(ii) Australia’s international obligations to combat financing of terrorism; and
(b) to address matters of international concern, including:
(i) the need to combat money laundering; and
(ii) the need to combat financing of terrorism; and
(c) by addressing those matters of international concern, to affect beneficially Australia’s relations with:
(i) foreign countries; and
(ii) international organisations.
1.3 Acknowledgement, Acceptance & Agreement:
Upon being admitted to the VACD Ltd. Board, Administration, Fellow, member of staff or as a volunteer, this document will be given to such a person either in a hard copy or soft copy format and it will be deemed to have been read, understood and agreed upon when this person attends the first general, regular, ad hoc or annual general meeting called by the VACD Ltd. Company Secretary.