• Federal Budget 2020-2021

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Review Program

In the 2020-21 Federal Budget, it was announced that the Government would be providing funding over a three year period, beginning from 2020-21 for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Review Program. Where charities are at a high risk of failing to meet its obligations under the ACNC standards, the Government is implementing field-based compliance reviews to facilitate early intervention.

Compliance with ACNC regulations

The ACNC is the independent national regulator of charities and is responsible for administering regulations and ensuring charities comply with their obligations. Currently, a compliance review conducted by the ACNC reviews a charity’s general level of compliance with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (ACNC Act) and addresses any risks identified.

From 2020-21 the Government will provide a total of $2.9 million over a three year period to implement a compliance review program in order to intervene at an early stage where charities are at a high risk of failing to meet its regulatory obligations of the ACNC.

Compliance reviews conducted by the ACNC help to uphold and establish public trust and confidence in the Australian not-for-profit sector. The implementation of the field-based review function will provide greater assurance to Government and the public that charities are utilising income for charitable purposes and have appropriate governance structures in place.

BDO Comment

In light of the disastrous events that have unfolded over the current year, it is now more important than ever that the general public and Government can maintain confidence in the Australian not-for-profit sector. Particularly, it is important that the public and Government have assurance that charities are compliant with the ACNC Act and are utilising income for charitable purposes. Charities should begin a process of self-review now to ensure that they are compliant with the appropriate standards before the ACNC begins any review.

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