‘Referral of Powers’ Next NFP Reform Priority
4 December 2012 at 10:35 am
The next priority in the Not for Profit regulatory reform process must be a ‘referral of powers’ to the Commonwealth to ensure the new charity regulator, the ACNC, can be a one-stop-shop for all NFPs, says Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA).
“While we are aware that some jurisdictions plan to ‘turn off’ their incorporated associations legislation we will be encouraging all stakeholders to support a referral of powers to the Commonwealth,” CSA’s policy director Judith Fox said.
“The states referred their powers to the Commonwealth when the Corporations Act passed into law and they should do so now to ensure that NFPs are not burdened with unnecessary duplication and red tape. Similarly, Treasury has confirmed that governance standards will be principles-based and flexible.
“And most importantly, the ACNC itself can now take part in the consultation on what the governance standards should be.
“There have been five major inquiries over a decade into the NFP sector. Each report has noted that the current regulatory framework for the sector is complex, lacks coherence, sufficient transparency, and is costly to NFPs. Each inquiry recommended a dedicated regulator for the sector.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put in place a dedicated regulator that crosses all geographic boundaries and that is not a revenue-raising body,” Fox said.
Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA) is the peak body for over 7,000 governance and risk professionals.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has opened for business following royal assent of the ACNC legislation.
"After almost two decades of reviews, reports and inquiries, and more than 18 months of extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement, the time has come for Australia's first independent charities commission to open its doors," Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said.