You may have come to this page from another one whose content we deleted because it contained an error.
The error was that Tangentyere Council, when its incorporation is switched to the Office of the Registrar for Indigenous Corporations (ORIC), would be required to publish comprehensive financial information which it had not done before.
In fact Tangentyere had been complying with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and provided financial and other information, similar to what ORIC requires, and that information was on the public record as it would be on the ORIC site.
A reader pointed this out to us and we published his comment within minutes of receiving it, thereby commencing a process of rectifying the error for which we are sorry.
Some days later we received a letter from a Sydney law firm, Gilbert and Tobin, making demands under the threat of defamation action.
We have since written to Tangentyere CEO Walter Shaw, suggesting that had Tangentyere contacted us direct, it would have saved them what is possibly a considerable expense.
A salient point is that the ACNC came into existence on December 3, 2012, while the refusal of Tangentyere to provide comprehensive financial information to us (and through us to the public) extended across two decades. A google search of our site will confirm that.
We had checked the ORIC site – where all other NGOs of interest to us are listed; searched the Tangentyere website and had made requests for interviews (mostly denied since at least 1997), without being able to obtain the comprehensive details ORIC provides. We were unfamiliar with the ACNC, and the Tangentyere website has no information about it. However, we regret the error.
Access to financial information from Tangentyere has been a point of comment and reporting in our pages as we covered the activities of this publicly and philanthropically financed organisation, charged with providing services to some of the most disadvantaged members of our community.
Our demand for this kind of accountability has not been limited to Tangentyere. For instance, it was long an issue we raised in relation to the Alice Springs Town Council until they began a much greater degree of financial disclosure in their monthly reports.
We have suggested to Mr Shaw that we should have a more constructive and appropriate relationship rather than facing a wall of silence when we are doing our job, which is to ask questions in the public interest.
ERWIN CHLANDA, Editor