IMPROVING INTEGRITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN THE CHARITY SECTOR
The Albanese Government takes the integrity of the charity sector seriously and is acting to provide the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) with additional powers and resources.
Presently, secrecy provisions prevent the ACNC from disclosing whether it is investigating alleged misconduct by a charity, the outcomes of investigations, and/or the reasons for revoking the registration of a charity. This limits the ability of the public and charities to learn from ACNC regulatory activities.
The Albanese Government will amend the secrecy provisions in the ACNC legislation to allow greater disclosure of regulatory activities. To support delivery of this reform, the ACNC will receive additional funding of $2.9 million from 2023‑24 to 2026‑27 and $600,000 on an ongoing basis.
These changes enable the ACNC to publish information to increase public understanding of registration and compliance decisions for educational purposes, with the aim of improving transparency and accountability in the charity sector.
The Government proposes to introduce legislation to support these reforms.
Public consultations will occur to ensure that the right balance is struck between improving the integrity of the charity sector through greater transparency about investigations while continuing to provide due process.
Attributable to Assistant Minister for Employment, Competition, Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh:
“Australia’s charities are rightly held in high esteem and these changes will increase public trust and confidence in the charitable sector. The overwhelming majority of charities do the right thing."
"In those rare circumstances where misconduct does occur it’s important that the ACNC can use those examples to help educate the sector and the general public to prevent issues from recurring.”