AICD submission on reform of Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission secrecy provision

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

The AICD has made a submission to the Treasury led consultation on reform of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) secrecy provisions.

While supportive of greater transparency on ACNC enforcement outcomes, the AICD does not support the proposal for the ACNC to disclose information relating to ongoing investigations. Disclosing impending or current investigations could have a very detrimental impact on the respective not-for-profit's (NFP) access to natural justice and permanently damage its reputation.

The AICD does not support the use of a public interest test with respect to disclosing information about ongoing investigations. In exceptional circumstances where the NFP provides consent or there is a pressing concern of imminent public harm disclosure may be warranted. However, we would expect such cases would be very rare and subject to careful consideration by the ACNC Commissioner prior to any disclosure.

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