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NFP working group survives COVID-19 commission shake up

10 August 2020 at 5:19 pm
Luke Michael
The group is due to provide a report to government shortly

Luke Michael | 10 August 2020 at 5:19 pm


NFP working group survives COVID-19 commission shake up
10 August 2020 at 5:19 pm

The group is due to provide a report to government shortly

Recent changes to the national COVID-19 commission will not affect the not-for-profit working group that was set up to protect vulnerable people and the sector during the crisis, the Morrison government has confirmed. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said late last month that the COVID-19 Coordination Commission established in March was being re-established as the National COVID-19 Commission (NCC) Advisory Board. 

He said the new body would provide a more strategic advisory role. 

“We believe that the commission now needs to move into a new gear…  and as a result I’ve decided to re-establish it as an advisory board to myself as PM, to work across the full spectrum of our job maker plan,” Morrison said.

“The COVID commission won’t be an external agency, it will work within government and will form part of the deliberative processes… through the expenditure review process, through the cabinet process.”

In May, the commission set up a not-for-profit working group to consider government and sector responses to issues affecting vulnerable Australians during COVID-19.

Tackling dropping giving levels and charity red tape were identified as the group’s top priorities to ensure charities could assist during and after coronavirus. 

Sector leaders wondered what the shake-up of the commission meant for the NFP working group, but Pro Bono News has confirmed that the change does not affect the committee. 

A spokesperson for the NCC said the working group would be reporting to government shortly.

“The not-for-profit working group was asked to consider practical initiatives to support vulnerable people and the NFP sector, with an intent to help them survive, adapt to and recover from COVID-19. This has not changed with the NCC Advisory Board’s new focus,” they said.

“The group has been consulting widely with more than 60 organisations on these issues and will shortly provide a report to the NCC Advisory Board to feed advice into the government’s economic recovery plans.   

“As advice to government, the board will not release the report publicly.”

It comes as the NCC faces scrutiny over its executive influence, with a University of Melbourne policy brief stating that the body suffers from a lack of transparency and has no legislative underpinning. 

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

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

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