W.A.Aims to Update Charity Fundraising Laws
1 July 2002 at 1:07 pm
The Government of Western Australian has recognised the need to update existing legislation regulating the charitable sector and moving into line with recent changes made by other states.
The appropriateness of current laws has been highlighted by headlines screaming about WA socialite Rose Porteous and some very large administration costs associated with her fundraising efforts at her home Prix D’Amour.
The Government says the operations of charities and Not for Profits has changed so much in the last two decades there is a need to update the legislation and it is seeking input from the community on the proposed Public
Collections Bill 2002.
Consumer Protection Minister John Kobelke says the Bill aims to establish a comprehensive, flexible and transparent system for regulating the State’s charitable sector.
He says the Government is committed to revitalising legislation to ensure public confidence in the collection of charitable monies.
Mr. Kobelke says he wants public help to ultimately create a fair and responsible environment that involves public monies for charitable purposes.
He says the Bill does not represent the final position of Government. Rather, it will provide a basis to focus discussion on how best to manage the sector in the 21st century.
The Department of Consumer and Employment Protection says all aspects of fundraising within Charity sector are under review.
A Discussion Paper, incorporating the proposed Public Collections Bill 2002, has been prepared by the Department to assist people in making a submission.
The Discussion Paper points to a number of areas of perceived shortcomings in the existing legislation.
It says the definition of ‘charitable purpose’ was established in 1940 and does not apply to a number of organisations now to animal welfare groups such as the Humane Society or to environmental organisations such as Greenpeace.
It points out that clothing bin collection appeals are not subject to any direct legislative controls, and that there is a need for controls over tin rattlers in street collections.
The Paper suggests that other shortcoming involve the standard of financial reporting by some charities, issues of transparency of public funds collected by charities and that individual penalties are as low as $100 compared to other states where fines can be as high as $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for groups.
Organisations will also be asked to comment on the role and control of commercial fundraisers and consultants.
The Department is interested in receiving submissions, not only in relation to the key issues identified in the discussion paper, but also on any other issues of concern regarding the Western Australian charitable sector.
If you would like a copy of the discussion paper, which includes the draft legislation, send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.