Replacing the ACNC - Options Paper Feedback
12 August 2014 at 11:35 am
Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes, from the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at QUT, has prepared a paragraph by paragraph commentary on the Federal Government’s policy directions paper for replacing the ACNC to assist those Not for Profits making submissions.
Those interested in responding to the Department of Social Services (DSS) paper outlining policy directions to introduce effective replacement arrangements for the ACNC have until August 20 to do so.
The response template available at the Department of Social Services website recommends the feedback be no longer than two pages.
About 15.5 million words on nearly 50,000 pages have been generated from government inquiries, sector responses and legislation since the Industry Commission report in 1995 to the passing of the ACNC legislation, so perhaps it has all been said before.
I have prepared a paragraph by paragraph commentary on the Department of Social Services policy directions paper which may be of interest to those with the task of responding on behalf of their organisations.
My key observations are:
- A full Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) should be undertaken before any legislation is determined, with an assessment of all policy options.
- There is no indication of what will happen to the ACNC register. If it is to be placed within the Australian Business Register (ABR), the issue is how it will be made ‘fit for purpose’ given the recent report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).
- There is no indication of the fate of the ACNC objectives stated in the ACNC Preamble.
- There is no indication of how the ATO or ASIC will be resourced to take up the former ACNC responsibilities, in the face of severe budget and staff reductions to both institutions.
- Just about all acknowledge the ACNC superior service standards in all departments from phone inquiries to accessing the Commissioner. There should be undertakings that no charity will be worse off in terms of government agency service standards in any alternative arrangement. How this is to be achieved should be made transparent by the replacement body and monitored.
- No information collected by the ACNC should be accessible by another authority, unless that authority was able to access the material under the ACNC regime.
- How will the concept of Basic Religious Charities (BRC) be continued in the future regulatory arrangements?
- How will work with the States on their regulation be progressed?
- There is no integration with the National Centre of Excellence Proposal in the material.
Download the full paper: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/74331/
About the Author: Myles McGregor-Lowndes is Director of The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, QUT, a member of the ACNC Advisory Board and ATO‘s Not-for-Profit Advisory Group.