Delays to ACNC Highlight Complexities
21 May 2012 at 2:41 pm
The Federal Government’s decision to further delay the start of the charity regulator, ACNC, highlights the complexities involved in regulating the Not for Profit sector, according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
The announcement last week by Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury and the Minister for Social Inclusion, Mark Butler, to delay implementation of governance standards in the forthcoming ACNC was welcomed by the sector.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors chief executive, John Colvin, said the organisation also welcomed the government’s decision.
“The Government has said they are committed to smarter regulation for the NFP sector and we believe they should conclude, through their future consultations, that a sector-driven response is the best approach to foster good governance of NFPs,” Colvin said.
“Legislation will never be able to cater for the wide range of organisational forms, missions and activities of differing size and complexity that exists in the NFP sector.
“A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, even mandated principles, simply will not work, and could have unintended consequences.
“What the Government should be asking themselves is: what is the best approach to foster an environment of good governance in charities and other NFP organisations? A ‘black letter law’ approach, even if principles based, is not the answer.”
Colvin said that Company Directors will take a leadership role in the development of principles and guidelines for the NFP sector, to be published by the end of 2012.
“General governance principles and guidelines is the right solution to foster good governance in the sector. This is in the best interest of all Australians,” Colvin said.
“The principles and guidelines we develop will allow the NFP sector to adopt an appropriate set of governance arrangements for their own individual circumstances, and adapt these over time as conditions warrant.”
Colvin said Company Directors intends to consult widely with its membership and the broader NFP sector on the issues from July this year.
“We want to ensure that our membership and others have an opportunity to contribute to this important initiative. The diversity within the sector requires thorough and meaningful consultation to help ensure the final principles and guidelines are appropriate.”