Regulatory Burden Biggest Issue for NFPs
Friday, 3rd August 2012 at 5:36 pm
One of the biggest concerns of the Not for Profit sector is the capacity of the new charity regulator to reduce the current reporting burden on charities, according to submissions to a Federal Government review.
The regulatory burden issue was raised in a number of written submissions and at Public Hearings into the draft Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) Bill 2012.
The Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury provided the Bill to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics for further review in early July and they received a total of sixty-nine submissions.
The Interim Commissioner and Head of ACNC Implementation Taskforce Susan Pascoe says while most submissions reaffirm their support for the ACNC, they did express a number of concerns.
“Some recommended a short delay or deferral to allow for further public consultation,” she said.
“Red tape reduction is a common goal for all involved in the NFP sector reforms, but many in the sector want to know the legislative and administrative elements are in place for it to be achievable.
“Another common theme was for clarity around the process for further public consultation on governance standards. There is a clear preference for an emphasis on education and guidance to assist charities to understand their obligations and be able to meet them.
“All of these matters will be for the committee to consider in preparing its report to Government,” Pascoe said.
The Not for Profit Sector Reform Council’s submission pointed to the issues around regulator burden.
“We are concerned that the Preamble and the Objects (of the Bill) do not reflect one of the original intentions of the ACNC which is to reduce red tape for the NFP sector.
“The focus of the current draft does not provide any detail on how the reporting burden for registered organisations would be reduced. As an example, the Bill could include the fact that organisations registered with the ACNC and in receipt of a Commonwealth grant would not be required to submit financial acquittals for the Commonwealth grants if as an organisation they submitted audited financial statements to the ACNC.”
Susan Pascoe says that based on the findings from the written submissions and public hearings the committee will prepare a report to the Government.
“This report may or may not make recommendations. Like many I will be eagerly awaiting the outcomes of this report.”