The World Relief Australia Code of Conduct (WRA CoC) is a voluntary code that sets minimum acceptable standards for smaller NGOs that work in the international relief and development sector.
The Code aims to maintain and enhance the standards of organisations that commit to this Code thus:
a) Ensuring that public confidence is maintained in organisations adhering to this Code so that individuals, foundations and corporations that donate to these organisations know that the donations will be used responsibly and effectively to help the poor and needy in developing countries irrespective of nationality, race, gender, political conviction or religious belief.
b) Improving the quality and effectiveness of relief and development initiatives. Mechanisms exist to evaluate compliance to the Code and deal with alleged breaches of the Code.
Signatories to this Code are also required to meet state and federal legal obligations relating to their work. These obligations may include rules of incorporation of associations, Australian Securities & Investments Commission requirements, fundraising and charitable institutions legislation, privacy legislation, equal employment opportunity principles, occupational health & safety standards, anti-discrimination, intellectual property and copyright legislation and other codes of conduct.
All Australian organisations that partner with World Relief Australia (WRA) must adhere to the WRA CoC or the ACFID Code of Conduct (www.acfid.asn.au/code-of-conduct). However organisations may choose to become a signatory to the WRA Code of Conduct without partnering with World Relief Australia.
Signatories to this Code undertake to maintain
- A not-for-profit organisation governed by an elected Board and accountable to its members and stakeholders.
- A constitution and a clear Mission Statement.
- A tax deductible public fund which meets Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and State & Territory fundraising obligations including accountability to 'responsible persons' acceptable to the ATO.
- Financial accountability with quarterly financial reports presented to the Board and an audited annual financial report presented to members and publicly available.
- A commitment to involving volunteers in the organisation's activities.
- Public contact details and regular communication with stakeholders.
- Supportive relationships with other development organisations and industry bodies.
- A commitment to help people in need in developing countries irrespective of nationality, race, gender, political conviction or religious belief.
- Funds and other resources designated for the purposes of relief and development are not used for welfare or to promote a particular religious adherence or political party, candidate or organisation affiliated to a political party.
- A written manual of the organisation's policies and procedures which includes policies on 'cross-cutting' issues in overseas aid.
- A programmatic and geographic focus for projects in which the intended beneficiaries are involved in the design, management and implementation of the assistance program to promote long-term sustainability.
- A commitment to professional development within the Australian organization and to assist overseas partners to achieve 'best practice' in their own governance and delivery of relief and development programs.
- Willingness to join with other signatories in abiding by and promoting compliance with this Code of Conduct.
To become a WRA CoC code signatory
WRA Code of Conduct Signatories Organisations that comply with the WRA CoC are authorised to display the Code of Conduct logo on their website and publicity.