Federal Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews has confirmed
the pre-election promise of the Government to abolish the
Australian Charities and Non-for-Profits Commission (ACNC).
The Government intends to establish a National Centre for
Excellence (NCE) to replace the ACNC.
The intention is for the NCE to be modelled on the US-based
Charity Navigator, which posts charity ratings based upon their
financial health, accountability and transparency. Such a model
will mean charities will not be compelled to provide information in
the same way as the ACNC currently requires.
This approach will, according to Andrews, fulfil the aim to
'...transfer the focus from coercive compliance and regulation
to collaborative education, training and development.'
In addition to establishing the NCE, the proposal is to restore
the role of the Australian Tax Office in regulating the sector.
The Government intends to introduce a Bill into Parliament on 19
March 2014 that will abolish the ACNC and repeal the Charities Act,
which commenced on 1 January 2014.
Further, the Bill that is intended to achieve this dual purpose
is also likely to repeal other legislation affecting the sector in
an attempt to carry out the Government's promise to cut what it
views as red tape in the sector.
Until the ACNC is abolished, entities registered with it should
continue to comply with the relevant requirements. Further, most
entities with tax endorsements will need to be or remain registered
with the ACNC to continue to receive the benefit of such
endorsements until legislation is otherwise introduced.
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