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ACNC Review Panel and Terms of Reference Released

20 December 2017 at 5:23 pm
Luke Michael
The terms of reference and the panel for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s (ACNC) five year statutory review have been announced by Treasury.

Luke Michael | 20 December 2017 at 5:23 pm


ACNC Review Panel and Terms of Reference Released
20 December 2017 at 5:23 pm

The terms of reference and the panel for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s (ACNC) five year statutory review have been announced by Treasury.

The Australian Charities and Notforprofits Commission Act 2012 and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012, which sets the framework for the national charity regulator, are required to be reviewed after five years of operation.

Assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar announced the terms of reference and review panel on Wednesday.

“The ACNC has the responsibility of maintaining, protecting and enhancing public trust and confidence in the charities and not-for-profits sector, supporting the accountability and transparency of the sector, supporting and sustaining a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative sector, and promoting the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations,” Sukkar said.

“This review presents an opportunity to evaluate the performance of the legislative framework, the regulation of the sector and to identify any improvements that can be made.”

Sukkar announced that the review panel will be chaired by Patrick McClure AO, who will be joined by Greg Hammond OAM, Su McCluskey, and Dr Matthew Turnour. The panel will also be supported by a Secretariat.

McClure has extensive leadership experience across government and the not-for-profit sector, having served as CEO of the Society of St Vincent de Paul and Mission Australia.

McClure has twice led a Reference Group on Welfare Reform, once with the Howard government and also in 2014 with the Abbott government.

His 2014 review recommended cuts to the Disability Support Pension – where only people with a permanent disability could receive the payment.

McCluskey is a director of Australian Unity Limited and the Foundation for Young Australians, Turnour is a director of the Australian Charity Law Association, while Hammond is a chairman of Anglicare Sydney and a director of Opportunity International.

The government also released a terms of reference to inform the panel’s review.

“The review should be informed by public submissions, by international experience, through round table discussions and by consultation on substantive issues identified before recommendations are made to government,” the terms of reference said.

According to the terms of reference the review panel will inquire into and make recommendations on appropriate reforms to ensure that the regulatory environment established by the ACNC acts “continues to remain contemporary”, that the ACNC acts “deliver on their policy objectives” and that the ACNC acts “do not impair the work of the ACNC commissioner to deliver against the objects of the principal act”.

It said the the review should evaluate the suitability and effectiveness of the ACNC Acts.

In particular, the review aims to:

  • examine the extent to which the objects of the ACNC Acts continue to be relevant;
  • assess the effectiveness of the provisions and the regulatory framework established by the ACNC Acts to achieve the objects;
  • consider whether the powers and the functions of the ACNC commissioner are sufficient to enable these objects to be met;
  • consider whether any amendments to the ACNC Acts are required to enable the achievement of the objects and to equip the ACNC commissioner to respond to both known and emerging issues.

Written submissions in response to the terms of reference are due 28 February 2018.

A report on the review’s findings and recommendations will be made to government by the panel by 31 May 2018.  

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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