Regulator Recognises Foreign Aid Code of Conduct
9 October 2014 at 9:38 am
Charity regulator, the ACNC, has formally recognised the Australian Council for International Development’s code of conduct for international development in what has been called a first for the Australian community sector.
ACFID, the peak body for Australia's non-government aid and international development organisations, implemented its code of conduct in 1997.
The organisation describes the code as a self-regulatory code of good practice that aims to improve international development outcomes and increase stakeholder trust by enhancing transparency and accountability of signatory organisations.
The ACNC says it’s assessment of the ACFID governance standards, which were developed in 1997, is that they “meet and exceed ACNC standards”.
ACFID Executive Director Marc Purcell welcomed the endorsement and said it was a “fantastic recognition” of the efforts of ACFID members, who have worked to develop and maintain rigorous standards for international development.
“What sets ACFID members apart in the way they deliver aid and development is their commitment to better practice,” Purcell said.
“For example, all ACFID members submit to an independent and confidential complaints handling process that is available to the public.
“Having an independent government body examine and endorse Not for Profit self-regulation such as the ACFID Code, means that the public has a sound basis for trusting aid and development organisations belonging to the Australian Council for International Development.”
The ACNC’s governance standards require charities to clearly set out their purpose, how they comply with Australian laws, how they are accountable to their members and how they exercise responsible leadership.
“Clear standards of governance are vital for ensuring the transparent management of Not for Profits and maintaining public confidence in the sector,” Purcell said.
“The functions that the ACNC carries out, such as registering NGOs and assessing self-regulation in a sector like ours, are an important public good that should be retained and championed by the government.”