?COAG Releases Regulatory Impact Assessment for Charities
26 January 2013 at 11:04 am
?The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has released a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for consultation on ways to reduce regulatory duplication between the proposed Commonwealth governance and reporting standards and existing state and territory requirements.
The RIA process provides stakeholders with an opportunity to provide feedback on the extent of regulatory duplication for entities currently regulated by both the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and state/territory regulators.
The closing date for submissions is 21 February 2013. Submissions will be available from the Treasury website www.treasury.gov.au.
A final report to COAG is expected in early March 2013 with options to reduce or eliminate compliance burdens associated with regulatory duplication.State and Territory governments have legislation that regulates charities that adopt a particular legal form, namely incorporated associations and cooperatives and (to a lesser extent) charitable trusts.
The legislation sets out some governance requirements and some reporting requirements. These requirements differ between jurisdictions and also differ from the proposed governance standards and reporting requirements under the ACNC Act.
The Federal Government says that while the proposed governance standards and reporting requirements will apply from 1 July 2013, impacts of duplication will not occur until transitional arrangements expire.
Transitional arrangements for reporting extend into 2015 and transitional arrangements where charities may make changes to governing rules extend into 2017.
The Productivity Commission report, the Contribution of the not-for-profit sector’ (2010), found that a major source of concern for the sector was inconsistencies between similar legal forms and the cost of complying with differing legislation.
Over the past decade, reviews have consistently recommended that the regulation of the NFP sector in Australia would be significantly improved by harmonising and simplifying regulatory arrangements.
?COAG says the purpose of the RIA is to identify and quantify the extent of duplication between existing and proposed governance standards and reporting requirements on charities, with a view to assisting a final report to COAG to determine whether it is a problem that would warrant government action.
It says assuming that a conclusion can be reached that there is a problem that would warrant government action, the RIA also seeks stakeholder feedback on options that might address duplication.
The RIA is available under Announcements on the COAG website at www.coag.gov.au and includes information on how to lodge a submission.