FIA Concerns Over Charity Regulator Draft Bill
Tuesday, 24th July 2012 at 12:59 pm
Fundraising peak body the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) has expressed concern to the Federal Government over the latest changes to the draft legislation for the charity regulator, the ACNC.
The FIA says given the imminent implementation of the ACNC on 1 October 2012, the draft Bill lacks detailed content requirements of financial reports and Not for Profit governance requirements.
In a submission of the revised Draft Exposure Bill for the ACNC, the FIA says it has long called for national regulation for charities and Not for Profit organisations and harmonisation of State and Federal legislation.
However, FIA says it anticipates that these may be included in the regulations when drafted.
Furthermore, it says any reporting for the sector needs to be streamlined between Commonwealth and State Governments in order to ensure the sector is not burdened with duplicated reporting.
FIA says it is also concerned at the emphasis placed on enforcement in the draft Bill.
“Research shows that the vast majority of charities and Not for Profits do carry out their missions and fulfil the objects of their constitutions.
“Where there have been cases of fraud or embezzlement, it has been found that the organisation has had a weak Board which has failed to insist on standard compliance measures, such as two signatories for all transactions.
“Where compliance is implemented properly, the risk of such offences is minimal. Therefore, FIA recommends an emphasis on compliance, rather than enforcement.”
Earlier this month, the Gillard Government made major revisions to the draft legislation around the new Charity Regulator, the ACNC and called for sector consultation.
The revised legislation will go to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics for an inquiry over the Winter Parliamentary break.
"The Australian Charity and Not for Profit Commission legislation reflects the outcomes of an extensive consultation process beginning with the 2011 Consultation paper Scoping Study for a National Not for Profit Regulator," the Minister for Social Inclusion Mark Butler said.
"Referring the ACNC Bills to the House Committee for an inquiry over the Winter Parliamentary break provides for appropriate Parliamentary scrutiny and also allows for further public consultation on the ACNC legislation.”
The Government said it will then consider any recommendations the Committee makes, before introducing the legislation later in the year, ahead of the ACNC's 1 October start date this year.