CONSULTATIONS OPEN ON LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE THE INTEGRITY OF THE CHARITY SECTOR
The Albanese Government has opened public consultations on proposed amendments to secrecy provisions which presently limit the ability of the charities commission to disclose investigations to the public
The exposure draft released today amends the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 to allow the charities commission to disclose whether it is investigating alleged misconduct by a charity, subject to a safeguard of a public harm test.
The public harm test is intended to balance the benefits of enhanced transparency with potential reputational risks to charities and the need to ensure personal and confidential information is handled appropriately.
The Government welcomes feedback from stakeholders on the draft legislation and explanatory materials. Consultation will remain open for submissions until 16 October 2023.
The draft legislation and further guidance on the consultation process can be found on the Treasury consultation webpage.
QUOTE ATTRIBUTABLE TO ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES ANDREW LEIGH:
“The present secrecy provisions limit the ability of the public and charities to learn from the charities commission’s regulatory activities.
These amendments seek to improve public confidence in the charity sector and put the charities commission on par with its counterparts in other countries and with similar agencies in Australia.”