Ted Flack, the State Manager of Communications and Fundraising at St Vincent de Paul Society in Queensland has made a written response to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report into the Contribution of the Not for Profit Sector.
Flack describes the Draft Report as excellent however he argues that if the reform is to achieve improved levels of transparency, reduction in the overall burden and complexity of the present regulatory environment, the only practical solution is to adopt model regulation in each of the states.
But, he says such model regulation will need to be added to, to respond to the issues to do with cross-border fundraising operations, including the use of the internet and other telecommunication technologies.
His submission supports the proposed national register of community and charitable purpose organisations; he supports the establishment of a register and the establishment of a national regulator, but argues that unless the current state-based fundraising regulations are radically reformed and based on a unified national model then it will not achieve the objectives that the Productivity Commission has set out.
Flack says at the heart of the Commission’s recommendations regarding regulatory reform is the proposal to establish a one-stop shop for Commonwealth regulation by consolidating various regulatory functions into a new national register for community and charitable purpose organisations, with the rationale that such a register would provide a single, record once, use often, or source of truth for use by the interested public and by governments.
The proposals include requiring Not for Profit organisations that have tax endorsements, those incorporated as companies limited by guarantee, those incorporated as associations using the new proposed Commonwealth form of incorporation and those engaged in cross-jurisdictional fundraising to be recorded on the new register.
While Flack supports these recommendations, he says he’s concerned about the way in which this might be achieved.
He says it’s not clear for instance in the draft report which NFPs will be required to lodge additional information in the proposed new register is operational, but he assumes that that the mandatory lodgement of a minimum set of information will extend to at least those that are incorporated as companies limited by guarantee and those engaged in cross-jurisdictional fundraising.
Flack says the complex issues of interstate fundraising regulation are only canvassed in a few lines in the report but considerable work needs to be done to have the regulations brought into a single set of comparable and comprehensive fundraising regulation for Not for Profits in Australia.
For submissions to the Productivity Commission go to: