ACNC to Drive Red Tape Reduction for NFPs
Wednesday, 17th October 2012 at 3:27 pm
The Federal Government will amend Commonwealth Grant Guidelines to support the implementation of a 'report-once, use-often' reporting framework for the Not for Profit sector under the new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, the ACNC.
The Government says the move is aimed at the further reduction of ‘red-tape’ for the Not for Profit sector.
The Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury has told a Sydney conference on Not for Profit Law and Regulation that the guidelines establish the grants policy and reporting framework for all Commonwealth departments and agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.
“The changes will benefit the many organisations that will be registered with the ACNC and are recipients of grants from Commonwealth agencies and departments,” Bradbury said.
“These changes will state that agency staff should not seek information from grant applicants and grant recipients that is collected by other Commonwealth entities and is available to agency staff.
“In particular, they will provide that agency staff must not request information already provided to the ACNC by an organisation regulated by it.”
The Assistant Treasurer said the changes will also state that when determining whether acquittal or reporting requirements are required for a grant, agency staff must have regard to information collected by regulators, such as the ACNC.
“The changes will also state that if an entity provides an annual audited financial statement to the ACNC, then a grant acquittal should not be required, unless the granting activity is high risk,” he said.
“In addition to these practical steps, the ACNC will also be accountable to the Parliament and the NFP sector on its effectiveness in delivering reductions in the regulatory burden.”
Bradbury told the conference that once established, the ACNC will develop and make public a 'red-tape reduction timeline and plan'.
“The changes will also state that when determining whether acquittal or reporting requirements are required for a grant, agency staff must have regard to information collected by regulators, such as the ACNC,” Bradbury said.
“In addition, the changes will state that if an entity provides an annual audited financial statement to the ACNC, then a grant acquittal should not be required, unless the nature of the activity for which the grant has been provided is regarded as high risk.”
The ACNC legislation passed the House of Representatives on September 18 2012, and is now before the Senate. The legislation is expected to be debated in the Senate in sitting days starting on October 29.
The Assistant Treasurer told the conference the objective is to have the ACNC up and running by early December this year.
“I have dealt with many pieces of legislation in my time as both a Parliamentary Secretary and now as Assistant Treasurer – and I must say this is the most scrutinised piece of legislation I've had responsibility for,” he said.
“In draft form it was the subject of an inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics and once introduced into Parliament it was subject to a further two concurrent enquiries by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, and the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs.”