Union Weighs in on ACNC Abolition
4 February 2014 at 9:58 am
The Community and Public Sector Union has condemned the decision to wind up the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) describing the move as short-sighted.
The CPSU claims the move is a sign the Abbott Government is intent on removing checks and balances, and the abolition of the Commission after only a year in operation jeopardised the jobs of at least 70 public servants based in Melbourne.
“Kevin Andrews calls it a war on ‘red tape’. We say they are removing crucial oversight that ensures the public’s contributions to charities are handled in the correct and proper manner,” CPSU Deputy National President Alistair Waters said.
“Unfortunately the first casualties in Mr Andrews’ war are the hardworking staff who are doing an outstanding job of monitoring the charities and Not for Profit sectors, and the public who may not have confidence in a self-regulatory system.”
Waters cited the Commission’s report on its first year of operation as evidence of the ongoing need for its role.
In the past year the Commission received more than 200 complaints about charities: there are currently 55 cases open, eight of which involve investigations of a serious nature and some of which have been referred to the police.
“The role of policing the charity and Not for Profit sector is best done by public servants who are independent and accountable. Australians are generous people but they rightly want to know that their money is going to the right places. The Commission plays a vital role in ensuring that is the case,” Waters said.
The CPSU says it is holding talks with the ACNC and the Australian Tax Office about the future role of staff and whether they can be redeployed.
“Our first priority in the coming weeks is to look after the interests of the Commission staff and to ensure their rights and entitlements are respected. We are in talks with the ATO and the Commission about how to do this. However, the fact that the ATO itself is cutting 900 staff in the next six months presents a significant challenge.”