ACNC Unveils Plan for the Future
Thursday, 22nd October 2015 at 11:13 am
Despite still not having its future guaranteed by the Turnbull Government, the national charity regulator has unveiled its strategic plan for the next three years.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) said that one of its top priorities would be to build public trust and confidence in charities.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, said she was keen to provide a strong sense of direction for the sector, the public and ACNC staff.
“This plan sets our priorities and goals for the next three years,” Pascoe said.
“As we move from the establishment phase, we are looking toward the next steps we need to take to continue to deliver on our objectives.”
Pascoe said the ACNC’s priorities for the next three years were maintaining and enhancing public trust and confidence in charities, supporting charities to be healthy and sustainable, making it easier for charities by driving regulatory and reporting simplification and sustaining an independent and transparent ACNC.
Pascoe said the ACNC had set a solid foundation and despite some uncertainty regarding its future, it had been focussed on implementing its legislation and building solid relationships with government agencies, other regulators and the sector.
“Notwithstanding some challenging circumstances, staff have been resilient and we have not wavered in our pursuit to establish a regulator that charities and the public can trust will act fairly, transparently and responsively,” she said.
“We’ve built the freely accessible Charity Register… that contains the information of about 54,000 charities, and we are committed to enhancing it further and keeping it up-to-date.”
Pascoe said the ACNC’s was also committed to working with other regulators.
“The effective performance of the ACNC is underpinned by collaborative relationships across government,” she said.
“We will continue working with other Commonwealth, state and territory regulators, and take a leadership role in best practice charity regulation nationally and internationally.”
Pascoe also highlighted red-tape reduction as a key focus.
“The ACNC will continue to focus on red tape reduction by working with other jurisdictions and agencies,” she said.
“Together we will reduce unnecessary and duplicative administrative requirements imposed on charities, and also minimise our own regulatory requirements where possible.”
The strategic plan also outlined plans to develop a fully populated Charity Register with usable, accessible and accurate data, to analyse and report on charity data to demonstrate the contribution of the sector to the Australian community and identify sector trends and to ensure a high take up of the Charity Passport by government departments to drive red tape reduction.
The ACNC is also currently consulting on the 2016 Annual Information Statement and encouraged charities and their advisers to take part.
Pascoe said the consultation process was an opportunity to provide feedback on proposed changes to the 2016 Annual Information Statement and reporting requirements generally.
“We are a consultative regulator and are very keen to get the sector’s feedback on these changes and also reporting requirements more broadly,” she said.
“The proposed changes to the 2016 Annual Information Statement are intended to remove unnecessary questions, improve the way a charity’s information is displayed on the ACNC Charity Register, and to provide further clarity on the information collected by the ACNC for compliance purposes.”
The full 2015-2018 strategic plan is available here.