CAAAPU under special administration


p2253-CAAAPU-2The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today placed the Central Australian Aboriginal Alcohol Programmes Unit Aboriginal Corporation (CAAAPU) under special administration.
He says in a media release that in 2014–15 CAAAPU received $4.5 million in government grants and $241,000 in fees from clients.
“My office has had ongoing concerns about the corporation’s financial position and performance,” says Mr Beven.
“I commenced an independent examination of CAAAPU’s affairs in September 2015 to determine the true state of the corporation’s finances and governance practices.
“The examination found the corporation had incurred an operating loss of $233,000 to 30 June 2015, had insufficient working capital and poor internal financial management. Without remedial action it was predicted that the corporation would be unable to pay its debts as they fell due.”
Mr Beven says CAAAPU was established in 1992: “It provides a culturally appropriate drug and alcohol counseling and residential treatment services for Aboriginal people who reside in Alice Springs and the surrounding areas.
“For over 20 years CAAAPU has helped Aboriginal people battling alcohol and drug addictions. I have intervened today to ensure this essential service can keep its doors open.”
Peter McQuoid from the Brisbane firm of PDM Consultancy has been appointed as the special administrator until June 30.


  1. And the Government keeps throwing money in a bucket that has holes in it. I would be interested in knowing some stats about what that money has really achieved in this time.
    Why don’t we do something radical and close all bottle shops for one months in Alice Springs as an experiment (nothing racial about that as it affects everyone). The Government can give all the bottle shops their average profit for the month so they don’t get adversely affected and can keep paying their staff.
    When I win the $70m lotto I’ll pay to keep them shut for a month!

  2. I understand that the manager in charge of CAAPU allegedly receives a whopping 100K+ per year. WHAT FOR, I ask, and the board of management (like empty milk bottles and last year’s newspapers, recycled many times over) has responsibility for staff recruitment and most administrative decisions.
    I’m not surprised that an administrator has been called in.
    God knows that Central Australia desperately needs an effective Drug and Alcohol Rehab Service, and decisive action by ORIC. Scitch ’em boys.

  3. We already know what would happen when you close down all the bottle shops for a month, Baron Von Knowitall (Posted January 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm).
    It would be like Good Friday and Christmas Day, extended over a month.
    Employment in the hospitality industry would skyrocket, as bars, taverns and licensed restaurants would boom.
    The health and general wellbeing of drinkers and their dependents would rapidly start to improve.
    Some employees of the police force, legal services, private security services, prison service, ambulance service and hospital would have to start looking around for other work.
    Most employers would be laughing, as labour would be easier to procure, sickies would drop, and security would be less problematic (unless they kept alcohol on their premises).
    Many people would get better sleep.
    School attendance would lift.
    Tourism would begin to take off again.
    The Town Council would have to find new work for many of its workers.
    The town’s workforces would stabilise.
    The government would probably be expected to provide a structural adjustment package if the arrangement were to become permanent.
    It’s not going to happen, as many people would, understandably, be unwilling to give up the option of buying grog and consuming it in their homes.
    However there is an alternative approach which would have a more realistic chance of getting government support.
    It would begin with persuading the NT government to introduce a floor price on cheap alcohol, making it more difficult for problem drinkers to stay sloshed all the time.
    Secondly, we could have a system where people who commit alcohol-related offences get effectively banned from drinking for a period.
    Thirdly, we could ask the police to continue to carry out point of sale interventions during high risk periods.
    Take those three steps, and we would, over time, get reasonably close to achieving many of those same benefits.

  4. @ Honest Arrente: Yes, Central Australia desperately needs an effective drug and alcohol rehab service, but Federal Government administration under ORIC is unlikely to deliver it.
    Administration is all about finances and you will see various cuts to make the service profitable again.
    The administrative process will sidetrack staff and limit the effectiveness of programs.
    And what do accountants know about effective rehabilitation?
    Absolutely nothing.

  5. Thanks for the response Bob Durnan, posted January 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm.
    I agree with you completely.
    I just wish we could give problem drinkers a reason not to be drunk all the time and have some respect for themselves. For myself, enjoying quality time with my family and friends and having responsibilities ensures I don’t have the urge to waste my days drunk.
    Yes it’s OK to enjoy a drink with friends and family but in moderation and not to excess.
    However, at the same time I can understand the feeling of hopelessness some people might have which causes them to not want to be “here” so they drink to excess.
    I personally think the cure is in getting people purpose and responsibilities for their lives. Stop focusing on the symptoms and focus on the cause.
    End of rant. Cheers.

  6. I’m not suprised to see CAAAPU under investigation. The organisation has been flown under the radar for too long while the town’s focus has been on other under performing Aboriginal corporations and organisations.
    CAAAPU management staff are paid well above their value despite producing a lack of programs or showing any real initiative in rehabilitating those with alcohol dependencies / related issues.
    Meanwhile, the rotation for clients between CAAAPU, prison, DASA and alcohol abuse continues.
    CAAAPU needs a clean-out both within the board and in mid level management and an injection of individuals who are qualified (!!!!!!!) and who want real outcomes for their clients (!!!!!).
    Daily outings into town in the CAAAPU vans for clients is not rehabilitation. Having a lack of separation between the board and day to day management is a huge problem at CAAAPU, and a new board / chair / fresh start should be first cab off the rank.
    CAAAPU is not alone in these issues. Whether it be LAAC, CAALAS, Tangentyere, CLC or any other organisation within our town, those voted to boards and committees must have the governance and operational skills.
    Being “old” or coming from a prominent family does not mean you have the ability, knowledge or right to set critical direction for our organisations (cultural direction is certainly critical where required).
    In the corporate world, no business in their right mind would elect a vast majority of you board members, unless their intention was to become insolvent ASAP!
    It’s time for many of you to move on and let our organisations flourish and produce results for our citizens who need it the most.

  7. The CAAPU Board needs to dissolved as they are professional board sitters, and the they sit on other organisations’ boards.
    It is not a offence to be involved in other organisations or sit on other boards but, funny, enough of those organisations are not traveling well either: Staffing and financials seem to be the big problem
    This would suggest they have no idea about how to govern, and don’t have suitable skills and experience to hold down board positions to ensure their organisations are managed and directed appropriately.
    PS: Great to see one of their former accountants rolling in cash now. I think he won lotto.

  8. Regardless of the issues that CAAAPU have, they should be congratulated for having THREE centenarians as directors. Three individuals, born in 1905 according to the 2015 General Report. What a remarkable achievement.

  9. ORIC have finally decided to investigate CAAAPU.
    As a postgraduate from Sydney University’s School of Public Health and being Indigenous, I have long been a vocal opponent of CAAAPU’s CEO and board especially the Chair, having picked my brains and resources in setting up the clinic and outreach services to a standard that would get them the necessary accreditation.
    I was given an undertaking I would have continuing contract work (I have over 30 years clinical and industry experience). These people have no credibility or substance. They sit on big money, first class travel, over the top travel allowances.
    [Some] people have decimated my name within the local providers, I have not been able to pick up either a permanent or sessional position and I am probably among the few who are genuinely interested in the mob and trying to make their life and that of their families more bearable with lifestyle changes.
    I sincerely hope that ORIC and the special administrator go through the organization like a triple dose of laxatives and that there should be a review of all the service providers: Why are both the Territory and Federal Governments giving funding? Is that fully accounted for?
    Remember Phillip – what goes around, comes around. You did the wrong thing to me and others who have tried to assist you.
    [ED – The Alice Springs News Online has offered CAAAPU and ORIC the right of reply.]

  10. Administration is not simply about financials.
    How can the accountants effectively do their job if the Board do not listen. If they go against sound financial / budget advice.
    It saddens me to think that there have been past workers at management level that have been thrown over because of certain people’s own agendas. These people actually cared about achieving positve and realistic outcomes for the actual people they were employed or contracted to serve.
    To simply say, get rid of the board, is too basic. There needs to be a complete change of how corporate governance is interpreted and implemented, and that’s no easy task.
    But yes, changes do need to be made and fast BUT I’m not sure administration is the answer, most of the time administration is about politics NOT about helping anyone.

  11. Hey Janet, who’s Phillip? If your going to put his name in it, we’d be better of knowing who it is, aye? While you’re at it why don’t you name and shame the CEO, chair and the rest of the board. Don’t leave me hangin!

  12. @ Kammare: Hi, to answer your question [you know who Phillip is].
    Apparently there was a community meeting last Tuesday; unfortunately I couldn’t get across to it, otherwise I would have named and shamed the chair and board publicly and invited the media and politicians to witness the bullocking.
    But then again, the Centralian Advocate wouldn’t go hard at them, the same way the Alice Springs News has and the three CLP pollies would be running for cover – after all aren’t they all talk and no action? Building their mini empires.
    JUST REMEMBER it’s the taxpayers’ money that is keeping the fat cats rolling in their comforts.
    And @ Concerned: Yes, CAAAPU has had some really decent staff but once again no leadership from the board, chair and CEO and administration is the answer in this case, politics has to be seen to shake up the organizations and not only this organisation BUT all the service providers in this area and especially the drug and alcohol unit at the AS Hospital base!

  13. Well, well, well, its taken a few years but Im glad to see someone is finally taking some action and blown the whistle on this place.
    I was one (sounds like there’s been a long list of them) of the staff who cared about making a difference, but the poor governance practices, interfering in operations, unprofessional conduct, personal agendas and nepotism was hard to deal with.
    There seemed to be little care about making a real difference or delivering good quality care at the time. Be careful going to work in this place. You get used, abused and then spat out.


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