Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is an Australian statutory body and the national regulator of the voluntary sector, including charities and other not for Profits. It was announced in the 2011 Australian federal budget and has operated from 3 December 2012. The ACNC regulates the approximately 56,000 non-profit organisations with tax exempt status, there are about 600,000 in total and will seek to harmonise state-based fund-raising laws.
- registers organisations as charities
- helps charities understand and meet their obligations through information, guidance, advice and other support
- maintains a free and searchable, online public register of information on registered charities
- promotes red tape reduction and aims to reach agreements with state and territory governments (as well as individual federal, state and territory government agencies) to streamline reporting requirements for charities
The ACNC’s stated aims are to:
- maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in charities through increased accountability and transparency
- support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative not-for-profit sector
- promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the sector
The decision to establish an independent charities regulator was based on demands from the charities sector supported by reviews, reports and inquiries spanning 17 years, most notably the 2010 report by the Productivity Commission Contribution of the Not-for-profit Sector. followed by an Australian Treasury consultation process leading to the Final Report on the Scoping Study for a NFP Regulator in 2011. with a taskforce, chaired by Susan Pascoe, AM. and three Australian Parliamentary enquiries.
The ACNC was established under section 105-5 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act on 3 December 2012, with an official launch on 10 December.
On 16 June 2014 a parliamentary report of the Australian Senate Economics Legislation Committee recommended (with dissent from the ALP and Greens senators) that legislation to abolish the ACNC be passed. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014 is currently before the Australian House of Representatives.
- Federal Budget 2011-12 Part 2 Expense Measures
- Sue White Benevolence dictated, (12 January 2013) Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, p.15
- Contribution of the Not-for-profit Sector Research report released on 11 February 2010 and Industry Commission inquiry report Charitable Organisations in Australia signed on 16 June 1995
- Final Report on the Scoping Study for a NFP Regulator
- Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission taskforce
- Susan Pascoe appointed head of the ACNC Taskforce
- Senate Standing Committee on Economics, Inquiry into the Disclosure regimes for charities and not-for-profit organisations
- Senate Standing Committee on Economics: Tax Laws Amendment (Public Benefit Test) Bill 2010
- Sector Welcomes ACNC Launch, (10 December 2012), ProBono Australia