New Deal Sees Red Tape Cut For NSW Charities
11 September 2018 at 8:28 am
The red tape burden for charities in New South Wales is set to be slashed, with an agreement between the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and NSW Fair Trading significantly cutting down the administrative burden.
Under the agreement, registered charities would only be required to submit one annual financial report to the ACNC, who would then securely share the data with NSW Fair Trading.
Previously, charities were required to submit financial reports at both a state and federal level.
ACNC Commissioner Dr Gary Johns, said this was a big win for registered
Charities incorporated as associations in NSW, as they would now spend less time “meeting duplicative reporting requirements”.
“They can now spend more time and energy on delivering services and support to the people of NSW,” Johns said.
Justice Connect director of not-for-profit law, Sue Woodward, told Pro Bono News they welcomed the new agreement, and said the previous model was a burden as it “didn’t make sense” and put smaller charities at a disadvantage.
“If you are a new treasurer of a small organisation, you have to know about the little quirk of lodging it both at the state level, and also getting onto the ACNC register,” Woodward said.
“It adds to the time that it takes for someone to work out what they need to do.”
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb, said this was a positive change for about 4,000 charities around the state.
“These associations have been spending extra time and money filling out the same forms twice. This new ‘report once’ system will see a reduction in unnecessary regulatory obligations on the charity sector,” Webb said.
Woodward said the news was especially positive as NSW had “a large number of charities”, but would like to see progress made on a single reporting option “to satisfy the NSW fundraising legislation”.
“This talks about it satisfying NSW incorporated association requirements, but if they want to follow the lead of South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, it could further reduce red tape… if fundraising legislation also came under this agreement,” she said.
This comes as Justice Connect leads a social sector coalition urging all levels of government to commit to a fundraising overhaul.
Johns said that changes to the reporting system were well under way.
“Most Australian registered charities now have streamlined reporting arrangements, and I hope to be able to make further announcements in the coming months,” he said.