Parliament told ACNC To Target Red Tape and Trust
Thursday, 29th October 2015 at 9:25 am
The national charity regulator has told the Federal Parliament that it will focus on cutting red tape in the sector over the next 12 months.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) published its third annual report to parliament, saying it would also target public trust and confidence in charities.
Following the formal tabling of the report, ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, said that over the last year the regulator had been kicking goals.
“I am particularly proud of the $10 million in deregulation savings we were able to deliver, which has a real and positive impact on the sector,” Pascoe said.
“Despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of the ACNC during 2014-15, we continued to focus on harmonisation of reporting requirements with the State and Territory regulators to reduce red tape for charities.
“In fact, continuing to explore ways that other Commonwealth and State and Territory agencies can use information collected by the ACNC was a key recommendation of the Red Tape Report 2014 – another exciting piece of work the ACNC undertook in this space.”
Pascoe said in addition to reducing red tape for charities, the ACNC also focussed on supporting them to be sustainable and healthy through education and guidance.
She said the ACNC had completed a series of projects that would deliver the Australian public an accurate and up-to-date online register of charities.
“Our work to build the Charity Register across a number of years has seen the removal or revocation of 9,000 organisations that are likely no longer operating or failed to meet their reporting obligations, and the addition of 6,399 new charities,” she said.
“The Charity Register now also houses 87,000 Annual Information Statements, 39,000 governing documents and 25,000 financial reports – a wealth of information that was previously unavailable to donors and the public.
“Use of the Charity Register as a resource also continues to grow, with searches up 43 per cent compared to 2013-14.”
Pascoe also highlighted the priorities for the next 12 months.
“Looking ahead, in 2015-16 we will continue our efforts to reduce red tape for charities and continue to build public confidence in the sector,” she said.
“We will also ensure that charities are meeting their obligations and we will focus on responding to concerns about charities and scams – the majority of which are raised by the public.
“In 2015-16, as we did in 2014-15, we will publish and analyse the data we receive from registered charities and provide this back to the sector, the public, researchers and government as the Australian Charities Report.
“I thank the ACNC’s staff, Advisory Board and the Australian Not for Profit sector for their dedication, determination and support in 2014-15. Together we can undoubtedly make even more progress in 2015-16.”
The full report can be viewed here.