Thursday, January 19, 2012

A new charity commission

Australian Treasury department are holding consultations looking at the new 'charity commission' for Australia. If fundraisers don't consult it could be very damaging for us.

If you are working for, or on the board of an Australian charity please make sure you, your board and your CEO know what is going on.

Info from the new Commissions site:

Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC). The ACNC will be an independent regulator and will:
  • be advised by an Advisory Board chaired by Robert Fitzgerald AM
  • report to Parliament through the Treasurer
  • be staffed by around 90 officers, with potential for growth if additional functions are added
  • be supported by the ATO in the provision of back-office services

Sounds terrifying - charities will be governed by Treasury.  That is too late to change, but what the rules are can still be influenced.  No time to delay people - they start their job on 1 July 2012.

I know it is boring, it is Government but if we don't consult and get this right, it won't be boring I can promise you that.


Roewen Wishart said...

I agree with Sean that we should inform ourselves about these developments.

The Fundraising Institute of Australia has been actively involved with Commonwealth officers discussing the details of the ACNC and the Bill.

I have one difference of opinion - I don't necessarily share Sean's concerns about having the regulator in the Treasury portfolio.

1. that's where most of the real institutional expertise in the commonwealth public service in tax law and charities resides, and getting that right is important.

2. the "economic rationalist" outlook on policy questions is not necessarily a bad thing for us. If influential officials in Treasury, as well as the new ACNC get behind the need for ending duplication and inconsistency of state/federal legislation, that could be helpful.

For me, the jury is out on whether the location of ACNC in Treasury is helpful to the non-profit sector's interests.

Roewen Wishart

'Sean is always learning' said...

Wisdom as always from Roewen. My concern with treasury is mainly that their normal motivation is for their own revenue (which is what us taxpayers pay them to do!)

It is good that they should consist of people who can add up though.

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