Australia: NFP Reform Agenda – Government Submissions
Last Updated: 9 February 2012

We recently made submissions to Treasury on the Government's NFP Reform papers in relation to both the:

  • Exposure Draft - Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission Bill 2012 and Explanatory Materials;
  • Consultation Paper – Review of Not-for-profit Governance Arrangements.

These proposals will have significant implications for all NFPs, if enacted.

We have major concerns in respect to many of the proposals and in particular:

  • The implementation cost and significant increased ongoing compliance costs for the sector;
  • The excessive nature of the proposed changes without any demonstrated need;
  • The number of charities and ultimately all NFPs that will be impacted by these changes;
  • The likely inability of the proposals to achieve a 'one-stop shop' for the sector;
  • The sense of 'one-size fits all' approach rather than distinguishing between the types of NFPs currently operating; and
  • The haste with which the proposals are being implemented and the likely duplication that will result.

Given the above we have set in detail our concerns in full within our submissions in relation to the following areas:

  • Concerns with respect to the definition of Responsible Individuals and those that might be included;
  • Concerns with respect to the registration processes and the types and nature of entities required to be registered;
  • Issues in respect to the interaction of the proposals and eligibility for tax concessions, and the proposed statutory definition of Charity;
  • Concerns with the approach to determining the reporting and auditing requirements and the size criteria proposed. We have set out an alternative approach within our submission;
  • Issues with the onerous nature of the level of reporting requirements; and
  • The lack of alignment with other statutory requirements that may currently apply.

In respect to our commentary on the Governance discussion paper we are concerned as to the possibility of over-regulation for the majority of NFPs and the over-prescriptive nature of the rules that could result. These concerns equally apply to the duties of Responsible Individuals that might be legislated. Given the diverse nature and size of organisations within the sector, in our view, rather than having legislation that is prescriptive, the particular purpose and objectives of the NFP should be the primary focus of any governance requirements.

Moore Stephens supports the overall approach and intent of the proposals and foresee benefits for the sector in the long term. Nevertheless, we are concerned with many aspects of the proposals and have provided alternatives in a number of areas within our submissions. These include a proposed exemption from the financial reporting requirements for those charities whose primary objectives are for the advancement of religion, given the lack of relevance to the public of their financial affairs.

To access a copy of our submission on the Exposure Draft click here

To access a copy of our submission on the Governance Discussion Paper click here

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Press Releases from this Firm
Recent Content from this Firm
Font Size: