The new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) will see further red tape reductions for the not-for-profit sector, following changes to grant guidelines announced last week by the Gillard Government.
The Commonwealth Grant Guidelines will be amended to support the implementation of a ‘report-once, use-often’ reporting framework for the not-for-profit (NFP) sector.
“Once established, one of the key objectives of the Commission will be to reduce the regulatory burden currently imposed upon the NFP sector,” Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said.
“The ‘report-once, use-often’ reporting framework will mean Australian charities don’t have to provide the same information repeatedly to Government.”
The ACNC will also be required to report its progress on red tape reduction annually to Parliament.
Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Senator Penny Wong, says reducing the regulatory burden on NFPs will improve the way government works with the sector overall.
“Not-for-profit organisations provide incredibly valuable services to the community,” Minister Wong said.
“We are committed to supporting them so that they can support those most in need. Reducing red tape will help improve the effectiveness of the services they deliver.”
The implementation of a ‘report-once, use-often reporting framework’ by the ACNC will be supported by changes to Commonwealth Grant Guidelines.
These guidelines establish the grants policy and reporting framework for all Commonwealth departments and agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. The changes will benefit the many organisations that will be registered with the ACNC and are recipients of grants from Commonwealth agencies and departments.
The changes will provide that agency staff must not request information already provided to the ACNC by an organisation regulated by it.
The changes will also state that when determining whether acquittal or reporting requirements are required for a grant, agency staff must have regard to information collected by regulators, such as the ACNC.
In addition, the changes will state that if an entity provides an annual audited financial statement to the ACNC, then a grant acquittal should not be required, unless the nature of the activity for which the grant has been provided is regarded as high risk.