On 21 January 2011, the Commonwealth Assistant Treasurer
released a scoping study for public consultation inviting
submissions from stakeholders in relation to design options for a
national not-for profit (NFP) regulator.
The public consultation is the next step in the Australian
Government's NFP sector reform process, affecting community,
charity and philanthropic organisations.
Issues for consultation
The issues for consultation outlined in the consultation paper
follow key areas identified by the Government. The questions raised
for public consultation can be summarised as follows:
1. The role and responsibilities of a national NFP
What are the appropriate goals for national regulation of
What types of entities should be regulated by a national NFP
Should charitable trusts be supervised by a national regulator
instead of the Attorney General?
Should regulation of incorporated associations be moved to a
Should there be a residual role for the states in regulating
What impacts would simplifying and streamlining the assessment,
granting and monitoring of concessional tax treatment have on the
What are the likely compliance cost savings from improvements
to taxation arrangements?
What elements of the current taxation framework are most
What value would educational and compliance initiatives managed
by a new national NFP regulator provide to NFP entities?
How can the compliance burden imposed by current requirements
What information might need to be provided to a national
regulator but not made public through a NFP information
What powers does the regulator require to improve governance
and regulatory oversight?
What role should a national regulator play with respect to
What problems arise from the complex interrelationship between
Commonwealth, state and territory responsibilities?
2. Form of the national regulator
What form of the national NFP regulator best meets the
objectives of simple, effective and efficient regulation of the NFP
Would a Commonwealth only regulator provide sufficient benefits
to the sector?
3. Funding implications
What level of contribution should NFP entities make to the cost
of the national NFP regulator
Should there be a differential cost for smaller NFP
4. Definition of 'charity'
Would a statutory definition of 'charity' achieve the
goals of greater certainty and administrative efficiency in
relation to the determination of charitable purpose, particularly
in relation to determining access to taxation concessions and
across different jurisdictions and laws?
Is Parliament a more appropriate body to define charitable
status that the courts, given its ability to be more responsive to
changing community needs and expectations?
The consultation paper provides an opportunity for NFPs
including charities, community organisations, and not-for-profit
retirement village operators, to provide initial views on the
proposed national NFP regulator.
The consultation paper is an opportunity for NFP organisations
to provide submissions with a view to balancing the need for
regulation and accountability of the sector with the compliance
burden that organisations bear.
The closing date for submissions is 25 February 2011.
Gadens Lawyers can advise you on your submission
or assist you to prepare a submission to the Government.
Consultation on the proposal paper is open until 15 March 2017 and these proposals will become law sometime in 2017.
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