Red tape? Not from the charities commission

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has released some new research showing how much time and money Australian charities spend complying with their regulatory requirements. Embarrassingly for Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, the report reveals his whole rationale for scrapping the commission is completely wrong.



Kevin Andrews’ main argument for scrapping the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission has been blown apart by a new report today from Ernst & Young.

The report finds that the charities commission has an critical role to play in reducing regulatory burden.

Kevin Andrews has persistently argued that the charities commission should be scrapped because it increases the regulatory burden on charities.

But embarrassingly for the Minister, the report points out that the charity commission can cut the regulatory burden by harmonising reporting standards across jurisdictions, helping eliminate excess reporting requirements under grants, and rolling out the Charity Passport.

For example, the report notes:

“A core component of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s reporting framework and efforts around reducing red tape is the ‘report once, use often’ principle. This principle is consistent with recommendations issued by the Productivity Commission, the National Commission of Audit, the Australian National Audit Office, the Treasury and the Department of Finance.”

- Ernst & Young, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission: The regulatory and reporting burdens on the Not-for-profit sector, page 30

Mr Andrews has continued his crusade to destroy the charities commission, despite strong support for the commission from charities themselves. Now we have evidence that scrapping the charities commission will mean charities spend more time doing paperwork, and less time helping the vulnerable.

In the most recent Pro Bono State of the Sector survey, 82 per cent of not-for-profits stated that the commission is important for a thriving charities sector.

Only 6 per cent agreed with Minister Kevin Andrews that the commission should be scrapped and responsibility for regulating charities returned to the Australian Tax Office.

Kevin Andrews’ only argument for abolishing the commission has been well and truly debunked by today’s report. For the sake of charities, donors and taxpayers, the government must now admit it got it wrong and commit to keeping this important agency.



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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.