FIA Calls for Independent NFP Regulator
28 February 2011 at 3:06 pm
The Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) has called on the Federal Government to establish an independent regulator for the Not for Profit sector, rejecting the proposed plan for the regulator to be established within the taxation department.
Responding to the Federal Government's Scoping Study for a National Not for Profit (NFP) Regulator, the FIA endorsed the concept of a national NFP regulator, but rejected the government’s proposal to appoint the Australian Taxation Office or the Australian Securities Investment Commission as the regulator.
The FIA says international experience has shown that such bodies are unable to develop the flexibility and openness needed by the sector.
FIA CEO Chris McMillan says that neither the ATO nor ASIC would be an appropriate regulator, and called on the Government to establish an independent national NFP regulator.
McMillan says the needs of charities and NFP organisations are not aligned with the needs of for-profit corporations serviced by the ATO or ASIC.
She says the Australian Tax Office's counterparts in the USA and Canada have been unable to develop the necessary flexibility or openness to meet the needs of NFP regulation. This has resulted in regular demands from the US and Canadian NFP sectors for an independent regulator.
Speaking at the FIA's 34th International Fundraising Conference in Melbourne, FIA Chairman Leo Orland called on delegates to show their support for an independent regulator and sign the submission on behalf of their organisation.
Orland says the FIA has long advocated measures of good governance, transparency and accountability to underpin strong philanthropic engagement in the community.
Orland says harmonisation of fundraising legislation and adoption of standardised accounting practices are particularly high on the FIA’s agenda.
Chris McMillan says the FIA called on the Federal Government to take the first critical step towards harmonisation by liaising with all state and territory governments and other relevant stakeholders, such as the FIA and key charities.
She says there is an urgent need to reduce the regulatory burden for charities which suffer from the recent lack of harmonisation, making national campaigns more expensive and less efficient.
So far more than 100 organisations had formally supported the FIA’s submission on the national NFP regulator, a number sure to climb as support is drummed up for the submission at the FIA conference in Melbourne.
The consultation paper on the NFP regulator was released by Minister for Social Inclusion Tanya Plibersek and Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten in January this year.
Shorten said the paper seeks the views of the stakeholders to determine the precise role, functions, feasibility and design options for a "one-stop shop" regulator.
Tanya Plibersek says a new national regulator should streamline reporting requirements, reduce compliance costs and provide certainty to Not for Profits about their rights and responsibilities.
Submissions in response to the paper close on February 25, 2011.