ACT to Carve Out Regulation for ACNC
16 April 2014 at 12:26 pm
The ACT Labor Government has thrown its full support behind the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, saying if the ACNC is saved it will “carve out” its own regulation of charities and Not for Profits to avoid duplication with the national regulator.
According to the ACT Government, the change will put an end to charities and Not for Profits incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1992 having to comply with both ACT and ACNC regulatory requirements. It claims the move could also save Canberra Not for Profits up to $2 million a year by reducing their red tape burden.
The ACT’s move, which was first flagged at the start of 2013, is a similar reform to the one introduced by the South Australian Government in 2012.
“This ‘report once, use many’ principle will reduce the regulatory burden on charities,” ACT Treasurer and Community Services Minister Andrew Barr said.
“Only a national regulator can provide a one-stop shop and reduce reporting duplication for charities that work and fundraise across states and territories,” he said.
“It is impossible for one level of government by itself to reap the full savings benefit that co-operation with the ACNC promised.
“By working together, both regulatory red-tape and funding agency red-tape can be reduced for the sector.”
The Government said cost savings would come from taking advantage of the publicly available information held by the ACNC to reduce the reporting requirement on the sector.
It said an ACT Government funding agency could meet its reporting needs by accessing information held by the ACNC, rather than each agency seeking the information separately from the charity or Not for Profit – an arrangement to be covered by a Memorandum of Understanding.
Legislation to abolish the ACNC under the Federal Government Repeal omnibus was last month referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry.
Not for Profits have until May 2 to make a submission to the Senate inquiry on the legislation, with the Senate to report in June.
Federal Shadow Assistant Treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh said the ACT Government’s cooperation with the ACNC demonstrated how the reporting burden could be reduced for Canberra charities – allowing them to spend more time on their core business.
“I hope it causes the Abbott Government to rethink its plan to scrap the ACNC. If the Coalition truly wants to make life easier for charities, they should encourage other states and territories to follow the ACT’s lead,” Leigh said.