Time for a new National Regulator for Non-Profit Organisations

5 May 2010

ACOSS is calling on the Federal Government to adopt recommendations of the Henry Review and the Productivity Commission in next week’s Budget to establish a new national, independent commission to regulate the non-profit sector.

“Australia’s diverse and vibrant non-profit sector adds $43 billion to our economy and employs 8 per cent of workers,” said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.

“This important economic contribution requires national oversight by an independent ASIC-style body which would monitor, advise and gather data on non-profit organisations.

“It is time for the non-profit sector to have a more streamlined regulation framework that has applied to the business sector for many years.”

ACOSS has written to the Prime Minister and Treasurer asking for the regulator to be established without delay.

“The Henry Review and the Productivity Commission have both recognised the pressing need for a new national non-profit regulator to reduce complexity and compliance costs on organisations.

“Currently the regulatory framework is uncoordinated at Commonwealth and state/territory levels, making it complex and costly for organisations to meet their reporting requirements.

“A regulator has had widespread support across the community sector for over a decade and its adoption is long over-due.”

Operating as a ‘one-stop shop’ for regulation, the regulator would oversee tax concessions, submission of corporate and financial information, and register national fundraising activities. The regulator would also modernise the definition of a charity, which is currently based on a outdated, irrelevant definition.

Media Contact: Clare Cameron, ACOSS – 0419 626 155