National Charity Register Launches
11 July 2013 at 12:38 pm
Australians can now search information on charities and Not for Profit organisations following today’s launch of the first online national charity register under the new regulator, the Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission.
“The ACNC Register is the official searchable database of Australian charities, providing a platform for registered charities to list information including their beneficiaries, financial information and reports,” ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe said.
The register has also been launched and expanded in mobile format.
“Australian charities work to support and foster communities right across Australia, and the new ACNC Register will enable the public to access information about more than 57,500 registered charities,” Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury said.
“The ACNC Register, which can also be accessed in mobile format, will include a variety of information about registered charities. The information available on the Register will be enhanced over time, as charities begin to provide annual information statements to the ACNC.”
Detailed information on the Register will be populated from charities’ Annual Information Statements, with the first statements due in December 2013. The AIS submitted by a charity contains basic information like a charity’s activities for the past year, or the changes that are planned for the next year.
“This is another very important milestone for the Not for Profit sector,” Community Council for Australia CEO, David Crosby said.
“We will not appreciate the true value and benefits of a national register for a few years, but it is a long overdue and very welcome step into the 21st century for all charities.”
To be registered as a charity and appear on the Register, organisations must meet the legal meaning of being a charity, and other requirements of the ACNC Act.
“Charities do not have to register with the ACNC – it is voluntary. If organisations do not want Commonwealth tax or other benefits, concessions or exemptions, they can choose not to be registered.
The Register confirms an organisation’s charitable status, that it meets the legal meaning of charity, explains a charity’s category of registration, for example, whether a charity works to relieve poverty or advance education, and so on and whether a charity’s registration is active, or whether the ACNC has cancelled (revoked) its registration or if a charity has voluntarily cancelled its registration.
The Register will also show if a charity has not submitted a report or statement on time as well as if the ACNC has taken any enforcement actions to a charity (such as warnings, directions, undertakings, injunctions or the suspension or removal of responsible persons).
The ACNC says this will only be published after a charity has had a reasonable time to respond.
It says more information will be collected over time, such as a charity’s annual reports and financial statements (for medium and large charities).
The charity register can be found here.