The ACNC legislation passed in 2012 allowed for the creation of minimum external conduct standards that are required to be met by registered charities.
To date, this issue seems to have been in the government’s too hard tray but Treasury has now issued draft external conduct standards and is seeking submissions on them.
The draft regulations are intended to be a principles based set of minimum standards of conduct, governance and behaviour that ACNC-registered charities must comply with when operating outside Australia. There is no exception for basic religious charities (unlike the exception that exists for basic religious charities in respect of governance standards).
Details of the draft external conduct standards can be found at the Treasury website. And interested parties can submit responses up until 21 September 2018. In addition, Treasury is proposing to hold meetings with interested parties and should you wish to be involved you can express your interest via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 17 August 2018.
We expect that these external conduct standards may have some significant practical implications for charities operating outside Australia. We recommend that you carefully review these to see whether they will have any implications for your charity and, if so, whether it would be appropriate to lodge a submission.
Treasury seems to be focusing on the activities of charities and other NFPs operating or controlled outside Australia with the release of a draft ruling on the “In Australia” requirements in July 2018.
Should you have any questions or should we be able to assist please don’t hesitate to contact Bill d’Apice of our office.