Crisis Centre president barred from conducting fund-raising appeals, centre restricted in such activities

Crisis Centre (Singapore) had been suspended from conducting all fund-raising appeals since Aug 15, 2019. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Following investigations on its fund-raising activities, Crisis Centre (Singapore) president Dennis Lee Wen Da has been prohibited from conducting any fund-raising appeals, while the welfare organisation itself has also been restricted in this aspect.

The centre had been suspended from conducting all fund-raising appeals since Aug 15 last year as investigations into its fund-raising activities found "serious concerns about the charity's governance, record-keeping practices and ability to be accountable to its donors".

The last day of its suspension is Tuesday (June 30).

The Commissioner of Charities (COC), Dr Ang Hak Seng, said in a statement on Tuesday that investigations have shown that Mr Lee did not properly administer the four fund-raising appeals by Crisis Centre, which he was in charge of.

Mr Lee had also failed to ensure proper accountability over the funds received.

The COC has barred Mr Lee from conducting any fund-raising appeals - including any under other charities - from July 1.

Crisis Centre is also restricted from conducting any fund-raising appeals until it meets three conditions.

The first condition would be for it to have implemented proper standard operating procedures for fund-raising and have in place "proper systems and controls for the conduct of any fund-raising appeal", including the receipt and accounting of funds received.

The second condition would be for Crisis Centre to have in place proper volunteer management systems and controls to "ensure oversight of the fund-raising appeal conducted by any of its volunteers".

The third condition would be for the centre to have obtained written approval from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) - the sector administrator overseeing the centre - for the procedures, systems and controls that it would have implemented to fulfil the other two conditions.

The COC also said that the MSF is prepared to work with Crisis Centre to improve its governance, internal controls and fund-raising processes.

This would enable the centre to "continue to render its services to the community with greater accountability and transparency", Dr Ang added.

In August last year, he had said that investigations into Crisis Centre were launched after he received feedback regarding the charity's fund-raising appeals.

Set up as a society on Jan 16, 2018, and granted charity status on May 9 the same year, the centre provides transitional shelter for men who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

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