The ACNC's future is confirmed

By Joe Shannon - March 8, 2016

The uncertainty over the continuing existence of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) was finally put to rest last Friday with the joint media release by the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, and the Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, announcing the retention of the ACNC.

In making this announcement Minister Porter acknowledged that “While there are a variety of views, within the charitable sector there is sufficient support for the retention of the ACNC”.

Given the quantum of regulatory changes in recent years affecting charities, this announcement will allow charities to plan for the future with greater certainty in respect to their overall regulatory framework. Importantly it should also enable the ACNC to work more actively with all levels of government in bringing a greater focus to its role of ensuring the regulatory burden on charities is appropriate. This includes the removal of many existing unnecessary regulations and duplications.

In working with a large number of charities we have found the sector to be highly engaged with the work of the ACNC since its establishment in 2012. This has included complying with the requirements of the Act despite the uncertainties, something that the sector should be proud of. Nevertheless there is more work to be done to enhance compliance and support the role of charities more broadly. Not least of these are in the areas of Federal/State relations, reporting on the contribution of charities including financial aspects and in addressing the needs of fundraising.

As a member of the ACNC’s Professional Users Group, Joe Shannon meets with the ACNC Commissioner and Deputies a number of times each year to discuss topical issues. Pitcher Partners can discuss any issues you or your stakeholder group may have that should be prioritised by the ACNC.

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