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The Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) Update

The ACNC in the latest Commissioner’s column, have refuted claims regarding the “death of the ACNC”.

The Commissioner, Susan Pascoe, states that “The ACNC was created by an Act of Parliament, and unless and until that Act is amended or repealed, the Commissioner is expected to implement the Act. What this means is that the ACNC continues to deliver on its statutory responsibilities such as registration; reporting, advice and guidance. We will continue our work on reducing red tape for the sector, in keeping with the third object in the ACNC Act. Charities will continue to meet their obligations such as completing the Annual Information Statement and notifying the ACNC of any significant changes.”

Myths and Misconceptions

Susan Pascoe also speaks out regarding some recent reports;

1. A story circulated recently that the ACNC and the ATO have been engaged in a battle. This is not the case and the ACNC and ATO have a very constructive relationship. It is formalised in a MoU and maintained with ongoing communication and regular meetings. This approach has resulted in a number of efficiencies and improvements, most notably improved service standards for the registration of charities.

2. Another assertion has been made that the ACNC missed an opportunity to gather data from Government, meaning charities were being asked to provide duplicative data for the 2013 Annual Information Statement. This is incorrect.

The ACNC now have the information coming in from the 2013 Annual Information Statements. They will be able to provide pre-populated forms from here on, thereby saving time and cost for charities. Once this information is in, the report once, use often capability can be implemented across government agencies.

3. A third misconception is that the ACNC is unduly focussed on compliance matters. In fact less than 10% of our staff are currently involved in this work with the majority dealing with the registration of new charities and providing advice, support and guidance to existing charities.

The full report by the Commissioner of the ACNC can be read here;

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