Charity Regulator to Clash with State Regulators
31 July 2012 at 12:16 pm
Given the history of Commonwealth/State relations in Australia there is "buckley's" of creating a "one-stop-shop" on reporting requirements for Australian charities under the new charity regulator, according to fundraising expert Ted Flack.
Flack, writing in an online LinkedIn Forum on the new charity regulator the ACNC, says as far as a "one-stop-shop" is concerned, for a small minority of charities, the tax endorsement processes of the ATO will be transferred to ACNC, along with the registration and reporting requirements of those charities that are incorporated as companies under ASIC.
“For the great majority, the current reporting requirements imposed by State and Territory Incorporated Associations legislation and fundraising regulators will continue, as will the reporting requirements of State government funding authorities,” Flack said.
Brisbane-based Ted Flack is a long-time fundraising regulation reform activist.
“At some time in the future, it is hoped that State and Territory governments will agree to amend their legislation and associated regulations so that they can accept data from the proposed ACNC "Annual Information Statement" to fulfil the reporting requirements imposed by the various Incorporated Associations Acts and the Charitable Collections Acts in each State.
“Similarly, the legislation and regulations governing the multiplicity of State and Territory funding agreements/contracts will also have to be changed, not to mention the databases and reporting systems used by these government departments to administer these programs.
“Given the history of Commonwealth/State relations in Australia, I think we have "Buckley's" of creating a "one-stop-shop" along the lines proposed at the moment.
“Why not simply allow charities and other NFPs to report to the ACNC by uploading the reports they are already preparing (and paying for) for their State regulators? If we can co-opt the States in the future – great – we can get the one-stop-shop we all want then,” he said.
“The problem no-one one wants to acknowledge is that, for the time being anyway, the ACNC won’t reduce the regulatory burden – it will add to it! The Productivity Commission would never support the creation of a new national regulator without it replacing the dog's breakfast we already have.
“The elephant in the room is that the State regulators are not going away anytime soon.”
Deputy ACNC Commissioner, David Locke, responded in the Aussie Charities and NFP Forum saying that a consistent accounting treatment is critical and financial reporting has been delayed until 1 July 2014 to enable sufficient time for charities to get this right.