Added by Pat Williams on December 3, 2012
Today the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) opened its doors as Australia’s first national, independent regulator of the not-for-profit (NFP) sector.
The introduction of the ACNC was announced in the 2011 Federal Budget and is the culmination of
numerous reports into the sector, including the 2010 Productivity Commission Report Contribution of the NFP Sector.
The Cabinet will be recommending to the Governor General the appointment of Susan Pascoe AM
as the inaugural Commissioner of the ACNC. Ms Pascoe has been the interim Commissioner of the
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits (ACNC) Taskforce since 1 July 2011.
Ms Pascoe explained establishing he ACNC is a significant and exciting time for the NFP sector.
“There are some 56,000 charities in Australia, all of whom provide vital services to our community,” Ms Pascoe said.
“Our role as the national regulator is to ensure that these charities continue making valuable
contributions to the community, while helping to maintain and enhance the public’s trust and confidence in their work.
“Charities in Australia have acknowledged that there is a need for a dedicated and specialist regulator, and that transparency is important when the public’s funds are involved.
“As a regulator, we are committed to finding the right balance between education and guidance, and reporting and compliance. We want to ensure that charities are able to comply with the legislation, but can still focus on their core purpose.
“Our priority from day one is to support the sector through this period of change, and I would like to encourage people to contact our advice line, 13 ACNC (22 62), or visit our website, www.acnc.gov.au, if they need any advice or information.
“We are committed to red tape reduction and will work with other government agencies to achieve this.”
Pascoe explained the government intends to introduce governance standards from July 2013 that will apply to all registered charities (except basic religious charities). Before these are finalised, Pascoe explained the government will consult further with the sector and the public before registering the standards and tabling them before each House of Parliament for its consideration prior to their commencement.
The ACNC has responsibility for registering charities, providing education and support, maintaining the ACNC Register, and ensuring compliance through annual reporting.
The formal launch of the ACNC will be held next Monday, 10 December 2012 in Melbourne.