Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to let you know about progress in the development of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
#CU12: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ACNC - Mark Ferguson at Connecting Up 2012
Australian Charities andNot-for-profits CommissionACNCMark FergusonAustralian Charities and Not-for-Profits CommissionTaskforce - Information Portal1 May 2012
Why a national regulator?• Current regulatory framework is unclear and adds complexity and cost• Registration & reporting offers transparency• Transparency builds trust & confidence• Will provide information and guidance improve understanding & good governance• Better able to engage with charities and deal with issues that arise
The ACNC will• Be an Independent statutory office own appropriation report to Parliament (through Asst. Treasurer)• Have headquarters in Melbourne• Get back office services from ATO e.g. payroll• Develop MOUs with Taxation Commissioner to ensure budgetary and staffing independence• Have a budget of $53.6m over four years 2011–14 (including IT build)
The ACNC Role• Register charities (ATO apply tax concessions)• Establish and maintain an up-to-date, publicly searchable online register of charities• Establish a one-stop-shop for charities which enables them to apply for charity registration, apply for ABN, access Commonwealth tax concessions, and potentially access other services including state and territory tax concessions
ACNC will also• Provide a ‘report once, use often’ service for charities to assist in reduction of regulatory reporting with co-operation of States/Territories• Provide information and guidance for the sector• Promote public trust and confidence in the sector• Monitor compliance and investigate regulatory breaches
Regulatory Approach• Light-touch, risk-based, evidence-based approach• Emphasise mainstreaming; encourage public watchdogs; adopt dual track approach• Provide information, guidance and education• Use graduated powers, provide opportunity for self-correction• Regulatory Principles: relevance, proportionality, consistency, transparency, timeliness.
RegistrationNFP applicant to provide• Details and contact info• Charitable purpose and activity• Charity beneficiaries• Source of funds and where they operate• Officer details and any remuneration• Tax concessions sought• Governing documents and declaration
What could this mean to you?• From 1 October 2012 all new charity registration will be through the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)• Charities currently endorsed by the ATO will be automatically registered with ACNC• Ongoing eligibility will be reviewed following passage of the new charities legislation in 2013• Annual reporting to ACNC will be required of all registered charities• To reduce compliance burden, this information will be provided to other federal government agencies• Information will be available to the public through the online portal from 1 July 2013 (or earlier)• The broader NFP sector may need to register in the future - but not now.
Consultation issues include • Support role of ACNC as national regulator, mindful of diversity of NFP sector • Support portal – and red tape reduction is critical • Support tiered financial and governance reporting • Sensitive to complex structures • Need to work with other regulatory, government and intelligence agencies • Must not forget needs of small charities, reliant on volunteers and those located in remote areas
Feedback on Portal concerns • Accessibility resource constraints - older computers or none at all geographical isolation may prevent web connection volunteers may lack computer skills • Information privacy and system security Some charities details should not be available Security of information collected • Provision and use of public information Need to provide timely and clear guidance Risk use of data to create ‘league tables’
Current status• Most of the senior staff have been appointed and recruitment is advanced for remaining staff• Major work systems & processes documented• June move to ACNC offices in Collins St Melbourne• Website build with online registration is on track for 1 July 2012 (initial timeframe)• New 1 October 2012 launch allows extra content with inclusions based on sector feedback• Investigating further site upgrades before launch
Implementation Plan• Release in May• Will provide detail on Charity registration reporting framework information portal and education strategy• Outlines expectations of charities over the next eighteen months
Thank youComments or Questions?Email: ACNCMailbox@ato.gov.auWeb: http://acnctaskforce.treasury.gov.auYouTube:http://www.youtube.com/acnctaskforceFacebook:http://www.facebook.com/acnctaskforce?sk=wall