Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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. Approximately 56,000 charities and non-profit organisations are registered with ACNC. Charities need to be registered with ACNC to be entitled to tax exempt status as well as certain other exemptions and benefits, such as an ability to give tax deductible receipts. The ACNC also seeks to harmonise state fundraising laws.[1]

The ACNC was announced in the 2011 Australian federal budget[2] and has operated from 3 December 2012.

Commissioners[edit]

Role[edit]

The ACNC's objectives, set out in section 15-5 of the ACNC Act, 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 ACNC:

  • 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.

History[edit]

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.[4] followed by an Australian Treasury consultation process leading to the Final Report on the Scoping Study for a NFP Regulator in 2011.[5] with a taskforce,[6] chaired by Susan Pascoe, AM.[7] and three Australian Parliamentary enquiries.[8][9]

The ACNC was established under section 105-5 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth), with an official launch on 10 December.[10]

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.[11] The government is not proceeding with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014.[12]

On 4 March 2016, Minister of Social Services Christian Porter and Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer announced that the ACNC would be retained.[13]

In March 2017, two Christian charities were granted permission for their board members' identities to remain secret on public safety grounds. Such permission is rarely granted and usually limited to the likes of women's shelters which fear violence.[14]

The 2017 appointment of Gary Johns as Chair of the Commission by the Turnbull government elicited significant criticism, as he was an outspoken critic of Australian charities.[15][16]

A review of ACNC legislation by Treasury was commenced in December 2017, as mandated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012 (Cth). The Terms of Reference were released on 20 December 2017, with submissions by interested parties closing on 28 February 2018.

Fundraising guidelines[edit]

In November 2016, ACNC in conjunction with the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) produced fundraising guidelines for registered charities. ACNC notes that “While some charities manage their own fundraising, many contract professional agencies to conduct activities on their behalf. This is often the most efficient and cost effective way for charities to raise funds. Recently we have seen media reports that allege that some of these agencies have been engaging in inappropriate work place practices, and may have also broken Australian employment laws.” and “Charity boards cannot outsource their responsibilities.”[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fairfax Syndication Photo Print Sales and Content Licensing". newsstore.fairfax.com.au. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  2. ^ c=AU, ou= Treasury ; o= Commonwealth of Australia ;. www.budget.gov.au http://www.budget.gov.au/2011-12/content/bp2/html/bp2_expense-22.htm. Retrieved 23 August 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b commission, corporateName=Australian Charities and Not-for-profits. "ACNC: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission website". www.acnc.gov.au. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  4. ^ Contribution of the Not-for-profit Sector Research report released on 11 February 2010 Archived 11 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine. and Industry Commission inquiry report Charitable Organisations in Australia Archived 11 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine. signed on 16 June 1995
  5. ^ CONTENT=. "Final Report on the Scoping Study for a National Not For Profit (NFP) Regulator". archive.treasury.gov.au. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  6. ^ "ACNC taskforce". acnctaskforce.treasury.gov.au. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Susan Pascoe appointed head of the ACNC Taskforce". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  8. ^ 7111;, corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600; contact=+61 2 6277. "Senate Committees (Page No Longer Valid)". www.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  9. ^ 7111;, corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600; contact=+61 2 6277. "Senate Committees (Page No Longer Valid)". www.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  10. ^ Sector Welcomes ACNC Launch, (10 December 2012), ProBono Australia
  11. ^ 7111;, corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600; contact=+61 2 6277. "Report". www.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  12. ^ corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra. "Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Retention of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission". 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Safety fears at Christian charities". 28 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  15. ^ Fergus Hunter, (7 December 2017), Charities express alarm as long-time 'foe' Gary Johns is appointed as their regulator, Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 March 2018
  16. ^ Wendy Williams, (9 February 2018), Government Accused of Undermining Australia’s Charities, Pro Bono Australia. Retrieved 7 March 2018

External links[edit]