ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe
Australia’s charity regulator and its counterpart for corporate and financial services have formally agreed to work together to achieve mutual objectives and reduce red tape for the nation’s not-for-profit organisations.
The heads of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), which regulates Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to deliver streamlined regulation for registered charities also listed with ASIC as companies.
ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe said the MOU formalised the two agencies’ working relationship.
“This MOU will help the ACNC to promote, maintain, and enhance public trust and confidence in the charity sector.
“Already we have been working together to identify our mutual legislative and system requirements,” Ms Pascoe said.
ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft said the agreement between the agencies would reduce overlap and help both agencies better achieve their statutory objectives.
“The agencies keep in regular contact to ensure that the guidance and information we give to charities registered with us and the ACNC is consistent and accurate,” Mr Medcraft said.
The MOU allows for information sharing, staff secondments, mutual training arrangements, joint taskforces and service agreements.
The agreement does not affect the legal position on what information may or may not be disclosed to the other agency.
As announced last year, the estimated 6000 charities registered with ASIC now primarily report to the ACNC and do not need to pay the ASIC annual review fee from 1 July 2013.
There is no fee to report to the ACNC or to become a registered charity.
The ACNC, which launched in December last year, has already entered into an MOU with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for entering into and monitoring subsidiary agreements between the ATO and ACNC for services, exchanges of information or other activities.
At the time it outlined the ‘report-once, use-often reporting framework’ it would utilise via a Charity Passport.
The passport is a collection of data charities will report once to the ACNC to meet corporate and financial reporting requirements.
The charity passport is scheduled to be active from December 2014.
In May this year, the ACNC announced the its ‘firm but fair’ regulatory approach.
Click to view the ASIC/ACNC MOU.
Visit the ACNC website for the latest information on the regulator’s progress.