RSL NSW imposes administrative sanctions on City of Blacktown RSL sub-Branch Executives and Trustees

Following an independent investigation and an RSL NSW Tribunal hearing, the Board of RSL NSW has resolved to impose administrative sanctions on members of the City of Blacktown RSL sub-Branch Executive for unsatisfactory internal governance and a lack of diligence and poor judgment in relation to a number of proposed transactions and investment projects during the period 2016-2018.

The adverse findings included an absence of a management process for perceived conflicts of interest, the absence of frameworks for consideration of investment proposals, and insufficient evidence to suggest that adequate risk assessments, business case analysis and due diligence occurred. These problems were compounded by corresponding failures to comply with key requirements of the RSL NSW Constitution.

A formal reprimand was imposed upon the persons concerned. Although the identified deficiencies did not result in any direct financial loss, they were nevertheless deficient in the performance of their duties as RSL sub-branch executives and/or trustees. They have also agreed to undertake a comprehensive, supervised training program in governance and compliance matters, with a special focus on the management and control of charitable and not-for-profit organisations.

The CEO of RSL NSW, Mr Jon Black, stated that he is encouraged by the collaborative response from the City of Blacktown RSL sub-Branch in resolving these difficult issues, acknowledging the volunteer status of the officers, and that he looks forward to working with the officers and the sub-Branch with a view to ensuring that problems of this kind do not arise in the future. It is important that the sub- Branch re-focuses on the RSL’s charitable purpose; supporting all veterans and their families in the Blacktown community.

Most significantly in this regard, City of Blacktown RSL sub-Branch has agreed, moving forward, to work closely with RSL NSW with the implementation of an Assurance Program that embraces a range of internal management controls and reporting, designed to enhance transparency and accountability to sub-Branch members, in pursuit of the charitable purpose.