NFP Reform To Instill Public Trust – CBA Conference
Tuesday, 1st May 2012 at 2:51 pm
The Not for Profit Reform process is shifting the emphasis of financial reporting to telling the narrative as well as the financial story, the CBA’s ‘Building a Sustainable Future for the Third Sector’ Conference in Brisbane has been told.
“This will be a good thing, as it will instill public trust in charities and open up Australians to further giving,” Linda Lavarch, the Chair of the Australian Government’s Not-for-Profit Sector Reform Council, told the conference.
The Reform Council has been influential in advising government on the development and implementation of the Not-for-Profit Reform Agenda.
Speaking at the Commonwealth Bank’s ‘Building a Sustainable Future for the Third Sector’ Conference in Brisbane today, Lavarch conducted an informal Question and Answer session with delegates to discuss the current reform process for the Not for Profit sector.
“The Agenda is so broad and so much needs to be done,” said Lavarch.
“To get through everything that is required, six working groups have been set up under the Council. The Chair of each working group is a Council member.
“There are also 40 other representatives from the sector participating in the working groups in order to get the most broad view to government as possible.”
When asked about tax reform, Lavarch said “In the past, the Not for Profit sector has not viewed itself as a sector of the economy.
“In fact, the Not for Profit sector constitutes 5 per cent of the GDP, totaling $43 billion per year and growing at approximately 7 per cent.
Lavarch went on to say that improving the relationship with government is paramount in establishing the Council.
“It is important that government respects that organisations are autonomous and separate.”
Lavarch conceded that the Not for Profit sector has a poor relationship when it comes to consultation with government, and is currently working on a co-creative consultation code of conduct.
“There will be great benefits from the reform,” said Lavarch. “Having a national regulator will provide cohesion in the sector.”
In addition to being Chair of the Australian Government’s Not-for-Profit Sector Reform Council, Linda Lavarch is also a Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-profit Studies at QUT where she is currently coordinating a Non-profit Model Law research project.
As a former State Member of the Queensland Parliament, Lavarch served as Queensland’s first woman Attorney-General. She currently serves as a Director on the Board of the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation and is Chair of the Board of the Coast2Bay Housing Group, a Not for Profit social and affordable housing company.