PilchConnect Calls for Victorian Action on NFP Regulation
11 October 2010 at 1:23 pm
PilchConnect has called on the Victorian Government to work with the Commonwealth on establishing a new, 'one-stop shop' regulator for incorporation, fundraising and charitable endorsement.
The specialist legal service for Victorian Not for Profit organisations, PilchConnect has made a submission to the Victorian Competition & Efficiency Commission Inquiry calling on the Victorian Government to work with the Federal Government on establishing a new, 'one-stop shop' regulator for incorporation, fundraising and charitable endorsement.
The PilchConnect submission outlines problems with the current NFP regulatory regime and highlights what it describes as opportunities for the Victorian Government to make a real and lasting difference.
On 13 July 2010 the Victorian Treasurer, John Lenders, announced that the Victorian Competition & Efficiency Commission (the Victorian equivalent to the Productivity Commission) would conduct an inquiry into Victoria's regulatory framework, including regulation of the Not for Profit sector. The Commission has been asked to identify areas of regulation that should be reformed as a matter of priority, and the scope to improve the institutional framework that influences regulatory reform.
The Commission will release a draft report for consultation, and a final report is to be provided to the Treasurer no later than 29 June 2011.
Senior Lawyer with PilchConnect, Sue Woodward says that despite recent Victorian Government efforts in relation to reform of the incorporated associations' regime, there are significant problems with the overarching regulatory framework for the Not for Profit sector and how it is administered.
Woodward says the current State-Federal framework does not support simple, 'one-stop-shop' compliance but instead, provides multiple barriers to growth, accountability and efficiency.
She says there is a high burden and high cost of regulation and as a result limited community resources (funding and volunteer time) are being wasted. Numerous State and Federal reviews of the Not for Profit sector over the past decade have failed to establish workable solutions.
The PilcConnect submission urges the VCEC to consider the 'big picture' and to recommend Victoria lead the way by working with the Commonwealth Government on establishing a new, 'one-stop shop' regulator for incorporation, fundraising and charitable endorsement.
It says under the existing fragmented NFP regime there are a myriad of legal structures (at least 20 types), multiple regulators (over 11), multiple and inconsistent legislative definitions of ‘charity’, and at least eight different approvals required for conducting national fundraising with a lot of the time and resources of NFPs is wasted on deciding between these structures, or having to change structures as an organisation grows or merges.
It says by removing duplicated legislative and regulatory effort, the Victorian government would be able to better focus on sector support and innovation, which will in turn see better outcomes for the delivery of Victorian government funded services by the sector, and the strengthening of all Victorian communities.
The Labor Government announced last week it will establish a Non-Profit Sector Reform Council by the end of the year to advise the Government on the NFP sector reform agenda. The Reform Council will be made up of representatives from the Not for Profit sector.
The Government says it will also conduct a scoping study for a national 'one- stop-shop' regulator for the sector to remove the complex regulatory arrangements currently in place and streamline reporting arrangements and it will finalise the scoping study on the national regulator by early 2011.
View the PilchConnect submission here.