AbolishmentThe Coalition Government has stated that it will seek to abolish the ACNC along with more than 8000 federal laws on 19 March as part of its plan to reduce red tape. This confirms the Government’s pre-election commitment to abolish the ACNC.

Although Minister Andrews has said that the ACNC would be replaced by a National Centre for Excellence “as a fount of both innovation and advocacy” there is still much uncertainty regarding the scope and operation of this Centre. Minister Kevin Andrews has suggested that an evaluation model based on the US Charity Navigator could replace the educative and registry functions of the ACNC. This model is best known for its comparative lists of charities such as 10 super-sized charities, 10 consistently low rated charities, 10 charities overpaying their fundraisers and so on. Much debate regarding the merits of a system which ranks charities has followed and without further clarity regarding the Centre’s objectives, purpose and scope to collect data such a proposal is difficult to assess.


Continue Reading Abolition of the ACNC Takes Shape

Businesses including Not-for-Profit entities should review their privacy policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the new Australian privacy principles before they commence on 14 March 2014.

The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 is the most significant privacy reform since the Privacy Act was introduced over 25 years ago. The new privacy principles will regulate the handling of personal information by businesses and Australian government agencies.


Continue Reading Privacy Act Amendments to Regulate Businesses and Government Agencies

Tony Abbott

Following the Coalition’s election win in September, the Government has continued its rhetoric that it will dismantle the Australian Charities and Not For Profits Commission (ACNC) and move all regulatory functions to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

With the ACNC still in its infancy, this has brought great uncertainty to the NFP and charity sectors. Minister Andrews indicated in mid-October that the Government would begin consultations with the sector to discuss the Government’s transition plans, with any implementation unlikely to be in place before the end of 2014.

On balance, it is our view that the ACNC is likely to survive due to the complexity in unwinding the legislation connected with it and the political uncertainty around passing the necessary amendments.  In our view it is likely that some of the current, and what some in the sector would consider more onerous, obligations upon charities administered by the ACNC may be relaxed where legislative approval is not required or can be negotiated.


Continue Reading New Government Brings Uncertainty to the Not-For-Profit and Charity Sector

CharityIn our blog on 3 June 2013 we wrote that the Federal Government had introduced the Charities Bill 2013 and Charities (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 into Parliament.

On 27 June 2013 only 1 day before Parliament rose and despite resistance from the opposition, the Bills passed unamended and are scheduled to commence

Charity

In our blog on 9 April 2013 we wrote that the Federal Government had released an exposure draft of the Charities Bill 2013 and Charities (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 for consultation.

On Wednesday 29 May 2013, almost three weeks after consultation on the Bill closed the Government introduced an amended version of the Bill into the House of Representatives.


Continue Reading Statutory Definition of Charity Introduced to Parliament

People protestingLegislation to invalidate clauses in Commonwealth agreements with Not-For-Profit (NFP) entities that restricts or prevents NFPs from advocating on Commonwealth law, policy or actions was passed on Tuesday 28 May 2013 by the Federal Parliament.

As a result of this Act, any clause in Commonwealth agreements that restrict or prevent NFP entities from