Amrap investigation outcome

September 18, 2018

Each year, the Community Broadcasting Foundation allocates more than $580,000 to support the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap). Amrap connects Australian musicians to community broadcasters through airplay and promotion of contemporary Australian music and musicians. Our organisation has been a proud steward of this funding for more than 18 years.

Our team appreciates the important role Amrap plays in supporting a vibrant Australian music scene. We acknowledge the tireless work of everyone involved in bringing Amrap to life, and the passion and dedication it inspires.

In 2017 we received a complaint about the management of Amrap. Because we take great pride in the integrity of our grants program we appointed an independent investigator.

We have carefully considered their report and are satisfied that the investigation was thorough, and the findings are clear. A summary of those findings is provided below.

We look forward to continued support of Amrap to showcase the high quality and diversity of Australian music available to more than 5.7 million listeners of community radio every week.

Peter Batchelor
CBF President

In October 2017, the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) received a complaint from a former employee of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) about the CBAA’s management of the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap). The complaint included allegations of misuse of grant funds. Funding for Amrap is provided by the Department of Communication and the Arts to the CBF under a funding agreement. In turn the CBF provides CBAA with the funds for the Amrap under an annual CBAA Grant Agreement.

In April 2018, the CBF Board appointed Sydney-based barrister Ben Fogarty to independently investigate the complaint. Pitcher Partners, a national accountancy firm, were also appointed to provide expert accounting assistance and advice as part of the investigation.

Mr Fogarty reviewed complaint documents provided by the former CBAA employee to the CBF Board in October 2017. From them he compiled terms of reference for the investigation. He then requested and received a number of documents from the CBAA and the CBF. Mr Fogarty and Pitcher Partners reviewed these documents for the purposes of the investigation.

Mr Fogarty conducted an interview and questioning phase of the complainant and other witnesses he determined were relevant to the complainant’s allegations from May to August 2018.

On 24 August 2018, Mr Fogarty completed his investigation and provided his final report (incorporating advice and findings made by Pitcher Partners) to the CBF Board. The report concluded that:

  • funds provided under the CBAA Grant Agreements were used for the primary purpose of managing and further developing the Amrap in accordance with the terms and conditions of those agreements;
  • a review of the CBAA’s budgets and financial reports did not identify anything of material concern from an accounting or audit perspective;
  • no substantive inaccuracies or incompleteness was identified in respect of the progress and financial reports provided by the CBAA to the CBF;
  • there was no undisclosed inaccuracy in the CBAA’s financial statements or declarations it issued to the CBF; and
  • the CBF could consider some additional measures of bolstering the governance and oversight of the CBAA’s use of funds for the Amrap.
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