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Where are we up to in charity regulation?. Susan Pascoe AM: Commissioner, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Better Boards Conference , Adelaide, 2 August 2014. Overview. Policy Context NFP Sector in Australia ACNC key functions

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Where are we up to in charity regulation?

Susan Pascoe AM: Commissioner,

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)

Better Boards Conference,

Adelaide, 2 August 2014

  • Policy Context
  • NFP Sector in Australia
  • ACNC key functions
  • ACNC charity regulation and Board obligations
  • Benefits of registration and regulatory oversight
policy context
Policy Context
  • Government intention to abolish ACNC, archive charity register, implement self reporting and return registration and regulatory oversight to ATO
  • Senate voting intentions unclear
  • ACNC continuing to pursue dual role:- administer the ACNC Act and Charities Act and retain charity regulator as viable agency, and support transition planning for transfer of functions to ATO.
scope of the nfp sector
Scope of the NFP sector
  • Estimated 600,000 not-for-profit (NFP) groups
  • About 60,000 charities (welfare, education, religion and other recognised charities)
  • 4% of GDP/ $58 billion*
  • Averaging 6% growth p.a*
  • More than one million employees* – 9% of Australia’s employees
  • More than 6 million volunteers

Sourced from 2012-13 ABS Satellite Accounts


The ACNC: our functions


Reporting & Compliance

Advice, guidance & education, research & policy

Register, Charity Passport, research & data-sharing

the acnc objects and executive team
The ACNC: Objects and Executive Team
  • Maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in NFP sector
  • Support sustainable, robust, vibrant, independent and innovative NFP sector
  • Contribute to red tape reduction
regulatory obligations of charities
Regulatory obligations of charities

Ongoing obligations

  • maintain ongoing entitlement to registration as a charity
  • notify ACNC of significant changes:-
      • Charity name and address for service
      • change to responsible persons (board, committee members or trustees)
      • changes to governing documents
      • significant non-compliance
  • keep records
  • submit Annual Information Statement to ACNC
  • comply with governance standards

NB: Size affects obligations

2014 annual information statement
2014 Annual Information Statement
  • 2013 info will be pre-populated in 2014 statement
  • Annual Financial Report required for the first time from medium and large charities
    • voluntary for small charities
    • reviewed or audited for medium charities
    • audited for large charities
  • To ensure integrity of Register, will ask for governing documents and responsible person information
  • Fixes some common reporting errors from 2013 (such as definition of ‘basic religious charity’)
2014 annual information statement1
2014 Annual Information Statement

Summary of requirements



Graduated Sanctions




charity regulation benefits for charities
Charity regulation: Benefits for charities
  • Badge of credibility as a registered charity
  • Access to Cth tax concessions and other benefits
  • Visibility through Charity Register = single point of contact (one stop shop) for public, donors, funders etc
  • Online ACNC Charity Portal to provide info in real time and store core information
  • Over time, reduced red tape through streamlined regulatory requirements and Charity Passport (enabling report once, use often with core charity information such as Annual Information Statement, charity documents, registration history, charitable purpose history, responsible persons, ACNC enforcement outcomes)
charity regulation benefits cont
Charity regulation: Benefits cont.
  • Use Register to find out information about other charities
  • Through Register, increased accountability and transparency of sector – greater trust & confidence
  • Dissemination of info and research about sector ( EY & Curtin research)
  • Regulatory oversight – take action against charities doing wrong thing – maintaining trust and confidence for benefit of other charities and the community
  • Timely advice, guidance & education
finding out more www acnc gov au
Finding out more:

Commissioner Column (almost 9,000 subscribers)

Web guidance, podcasts and videos

#AskACNC coming to a location near you over August

Phone: 13 ACNC (13 22 62) 9am to 6pm AEDST


Social media: