Govt Announces Charity Regulator’s ‘Staged’ Introduction
18 May 2012 at 10:10 am
The Federal Government has announced further delays to the start of the charity regulator for the Not for Profit sector.
Not for Profit sector reforms will now be ‘staged’ to allow organisations to transition to the new regulatory framework, the Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury has announced.
The Assistant Treasurer made the announcement at the CPA Australia Not for Profit Conference in Sydney late yesterday.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) will commence operations from October 1, 2012 as previously announced.
However, the governance standards, including the external conduct standards, and the financial reporting framework will now commence on July 1, 2013 with the first financial reports for medium and large registered entities now beginning to fall due after July 1, 2014.
The Government says the ACNC will initially only regulate charities.
“The Gillard Government is committed to progressing these important reforms and this staged approach will help the sector transition to the new arrangements and provide additional time for consultation,” Bradbury said.
“As the governance standards and the financial reporting framework are finalised, the ACNC will work with the sector and provide guidance and information to help charities transition to the new regulatory framework – providing plenty of time for the sector to develop an understanding of the changes before they start to apply.
“The Gillard Government has announced the most ambitious reform agenda for Australia’s Not for Profit sector in history, including by developing a new national approach to fundraising laws, introducing a statutory definition of charity and introducing a new regulator for the sector,” Bradbury said.
“Effective engagement and consultation with the Not for Profit sector is critical to the shaping of these reforms.”
UnitingCare national director Lin Hatfield Dodds welcomed the Government’s decision and said it was a significant step forward that will allow time to consider complex issues.
“Establishing a new national regulator for a sector as diverse as the Not for Profit sector needs to be done carefully,” Hatfield Dodds said.
“This move gives the Government, the Not for Profit sector and the Australian Charities and Not for profit Commission (ACNC) time to work through some of the complexities surrounding reporting and governance obligations.
“The decision shows the Government is serious about ensuring the sector’s diversity is protected.
“Today’s announcement is a smart move. Taking the time to get this right will ensure everyone benefits from a strong and effective not for profit sector,” Hatfield Dodds said.
The Government says it proposes to refer the draft ACNC legislation to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, for an inquiry over the Winter Parliamentary break.
The Government will then consider any recommendations the Committee makes, before introducing the legislation later this year.