Summary - The House Standing Committee on
Economics has presented its Report on the Exposure Draft of the
Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Exposure Draft
On 15 August 2012, after completing its Inquiry, the House of
Representatives Standing Committee on Economics issued its
report entitled ""Report on the Exposure Draft of
the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Bills
Subject to other recommendations in its report, the Committee
recommended that the House of Representatives pass the Australian
Charities and Not-For-Profits Bill 2012 (ACNC Bill) and the
Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (Consequential
and Transitional) Bill 2012.
The recommendations will now be presented to the House of
It is worth noting in the current environment of a hung
Parliament that the Liberal members of the Committee dissented from
the majority view stating that the Bills in their current form
""all serve as a threat to the strength and vibrancy
of the Not-For-Profit sector going forward"". The
Liberal members recommend that the Bills not be supported in the
The amendments recommended by the Committee can be summarised as
the objects of the ACNC Bill should explicitly include
"the reduction of red tape";
there should be an explanation of the meaning of "public
trust and confidence" and an indication in the Explanatory
Memorandum of how that expression might be interpreted;
the Guide to the ACNC Bill should reflect the educative and
enabling role of the ACNC in supporting transparency and
existing or sector developed governance standards should be
incorporated into the Bill through regulation in addition to the
default set of governance standards;
the privacy of donors who wish to remain anonymous should be
the obligations, liabilities and offences provisions should be
re-drafted with a view to clarifying their intent and
principles of natural justice should be incorporated into the
Bill, including a written notice of intent and an opportunity to be
heard before a decision is enforced to revoke registration or to
suspend or remove responsible entities;
the legislation should provide for a review after it has been
in operation for 5 years.
It is now expected that a fourth draft of the Bills will be
prepared and submitted to the House – probably during the
week commencing 20 August 2012.
It then remains to be seen whether the Bills will make it
through both Houses of Parliament and, even if they do, whether
that will occur before the intended commencement date of the ACNC
on 1 October 2012.
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