ACNC Options paper

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Company Directors provided comment to the Department of Social Services on their Options Paper for Replacement Arrangements following the abolition of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). 

Since the commencement of the NFP Reform in 2010/2011 and through a range of submissions, Company Directors has consistently repeated its view that the charity sector (and the broader NFP sector) would benefit from:

  1. An independent national regulator.
  2. A reduction of red-tape.
  3. A harmonisation of Federal, State and Territory regulations.
  4. A “one-stop-shop” for reporting to government(s).

While we recognise that the Government has stated its intention to abolish the ACNC, we do not see how its abolition, nor any of the options outlined in this paper, will assist in achieving the outcomes above.

We recognise that while the ACNC had also not yet achieved those outcomes, we believe that it was at least on a path to achieving them.

We also recognise a “weariness” across the sector about dealing with another range of reforms. There is a great deal of confusion with the current proposals for reform of charity regulation and this could be greatly reduced if each of the elements were completed simultaneously, as opposed to separate exercises.

In particular, the separate consultations regarding this Options Paper on the abolition of the ACNC and proposed Centre of Excellence (COE) is causing significant confusion. Given how closely these consultations interact, it is difficult to provide substantive feedback on one without knowing the outcome of the other. Examples of this confusion are provided later in this submission.

We also raised our concerns about particular aspects of the options presented including our view that the proposed self-reporting standards neither reduce the regulatory burden for charities nor enhance public accountability in the sector.”

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