Impact 25 Winners
NEWS  |  Politics

Charity Regulator Moves on Senate Evidence

Tuesday, 3rd June 2014 at 12:38 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor
The charity regulator, the ACNC, has moved to correct what it says are key factual errors made by some of its opponents at the Senate inquiry hearing into the Coalition Government’s Repeal Bill.

Tuesday, 3rd June 2014
at 12:38 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor



Charity Regulator Moves on Senate Evidence
Tuesday, 3rd June 2014 at 12:38 pm

The charity regulator, the ACNC, has moved to correct what it says are key factual errors made by some of its opponents at the Senate inquiry hearing into the Coalition Government’s Repeal Bill.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has made a further submission to the Senate inquiry into the Repeal Bill (Submission 95.1) to correct what is says are some of the key factual errors in the statements made as well as answering questions raised during the hearing.

The ACNC said it was apparent during the course of the hearing that there were several matters that were answered incorrectly by witnesses and this may have caused confusion for the Senators.

“There are also some important factual errors or misunderstandings in some of the submissions,” it said.

The additional submission address some of the statements made in an individual submission by Peter Hersh in his capacity as a director of Logicca Chartered Accounts as well as statements from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the Financial Services Council, Catholic Health Australia, the Housing Industry Association and the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes.

Peter Hersh’s submission (Number 22) points to changes to regulatory obligations and auditors powers.

“My strongly held view is that the ACNC since its inception has failed in 1, has done a number of useful things in 2 and has dramatically increased unnecessary regulatory obligations on the sector particularly the small charities,” he said.

“Mr Hersh was concerned that a number of important controls in the Corporations Act had been ‘switched off’, and that this has diluted the authority of the auditor and their ability to do their work (a potentially important matter given the role of an auditor as a crucial ‘check and balance’),” the ACNC said in its additional submission.

“While some provisions of the Corporations Act have been ‘switched off’, there are provisions that are ‘turned on’ in the ACNC Act to replace them,” the ACNC said.

Hersh also told the Senate inquiry that large charities structured as companies limited by guarantee were equivalent to public companies and should be subject to oversight by ASIC.

“A charity that feels it does not require ASIC regulation is free to structure itself differently. The ACNC has failed to reduce red tape and has practically increased red tape for small charities,” he said.

The ACNC said its role was to determine charitable status.

“The ACNC Act provides that this includes determining Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) status, Health Promotion status, and Harm Prevention status. The ATO determines DGR and other charitable taxation concessions and benefits,” it said.

The ACNC additional submission also addressed reporting obligations including the Annual Information Statement and Financial Reporting Requirements.

“The 2013 AIS provides core, up-to-date information that helps provide a credible register of charities, essential given that many details contained in the data migrated from the ATO have been found to be incorrect (more than 5,600 paper ‘change of details’ forms have been received up to 28 May 2014 and over 5,500 pieces of mail have been returned unopened),” the ACNC said.

“Basic Religious Charities do not have to answer any financial questions or provide any financial reports. Commencing 2014 medium and large charities are required to attach financial reports to their 2014 Annual Information Statements. It is voluntary for small charities

“The revenue limits for determining charity size were based on the revenue limits in the Corporations Act relating to size of companies limited by guarantee.”

More than 154 submissions have been been uploaded to the Senate Inquiry site with more than 80 per cent supporting the retention of the ACNC.  

Thirteen organisations and individuals gave evidence at Friday’s Senate inquiry public hearing. Seven of those supported the repeal of the ACNC Act.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (Repeal) (No 1) Bill 2014 was introduced into the House of Representatives on March 19 and referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee on March 27 for inquiry and report.

The Inquiry hearing was chaired by Liberal Senator David Bushby. Submissions to the Committee closed on May 2 and a report is expected on June 16.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at

One Comment

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Calls For Stricter Charity Approval Process

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 18th March 2019 at 3:58 pm

AICD Releases Second Edition of its NFP Governance Principles


Tuesday, 5th March 2019 at 7:15 am

So What Does the Second Object of the ACNC Act Mean?

Krystian Seibert

Tuesday, 19th February 2019 at 8:37 am

Staff Survey Reveals High Staff Engagement in UK Charity Commission

Luke Michael

Thursday, 31st January 2019 at 4:30 pm


Tech Giant Launches Foundation to Tackle Indigenous Disadvantage

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 5th March 2019 at 5:09 pm

Cafe Roasted for ‘Appalling’ Sign Mocking Disability Abuse

Luke Michael

Thursday, 7th March 2019 at 5:18 pm

Concerns Raised Over Government’s Domestic Violence Plan

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 6th March 2019 at 5:23 pm

The NDIS is Not Medicare

Fran Connelley

Tuesday, 5th March 2019 at 8:31 am

Disability Housing Conference
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!