Transparency and Merit in the Hunt to Replace Pascoe as ACNC Head
Wednesday, 7th June 2017 at 4:36 pm
The federal government is set to undertake an “an open and transparent merit-based selection process” to find a new commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
Following the shock announcement last Thursday that the inaugural commissioner Susan Pascoe AM will step aside when her term finishes in September, Assistant Minister Michael Sukkar told Pro Bono News the process to find a replacement would centre on transparency.
“I thanked Ms Pascoe for her commitment and service to the ACNC over the last five years,” Sukkar said.
“The government greatly appreciates her service as the inaugural commissioner as well as the experience she brought to the ACNC.
“We will be undertaking an open and transparent merit-based selection process to fill the position of commissioner.”
His comments follow a wave of concern from the social sector about the process involved in decisions around Pascoe’s tenure and the future of the ACNC.
In response to the news that Pascoe would be stepping aside Community Council of Australia drafted an open letter to the prime minister which has now attracted more than 80 signatures, and is set to be presented to Sukkar on Friday.
The letter expressed disappointment that Sukkar had never met with ACNC commissioners and called for Pascoe to be reappointed for at least another 12 months to enable the five-year review of the ACNC to be conducted with her at the helm.
Shadow minister for charities and not for profits Andrew Leigh said Labor and the charity sector would be looking to the Turnbull government to nominate a replacement of “equally high calibre”.
“Labor acknowledges the service of the head of the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission, Susan Pascoe, who has not been reappointed by the Turnbull government,” Leigh said.
“Ms Pascoe has been praised by the public service and charities alike. As advisory board chair Tony Stuart put it, under her leadership, the charities commission has ‘not only survived – but thrived’.
“While his immediate predecessor, Michael McCormack, was vocal in his support for the charities commission, Mr Sukkar is yet to provide any formal indication that he shares this view.
“Australia’s charities are now looking to see whether Michael Sukkar and the Turnbull government take our charities seriously.”
Writing in her fortnightly column for the ACNC Pascoe confirmed her term would come to an end when her five year contract finished on 30 September 2017 .
“It has and continues to be an honour to serve as the inaugural ACNC commissioner,” Pascoe said.
“On a daily basis I am inspired by the hard working people who dedicate their lives to the Australian not-for-profit sector for the benefit of others.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the sector for their support over the past five years, through the establishment of the ACNC, including when the future of the organisation was uncertain.”
It is anticipated that the new ACNC commissioner will be appointed by 1 October 2017.
Those interested in signing the letter from CCA should email firstname.lastname@example.org