2017 Annual Information Statement – Consultation summary Question 3

Should the 2017 AIS include a question (or questions) on governance standards or should charities be asked to declare that they are meeting the ACNC governance standards before submitting the AIS?

Written submissions and face-to-face consultation sessions tended to focus on whether or not the ACNC should use the AIS to ask about governance standards.

If you think the ACNC should ask a question (or questions), what/how should we ask?

What you said

  • If questions about the specific governing standards are asked every year, NFP organisations will be reminded of them every year, making them more aware of the need to comply with them. 
  • Charities are already required by law to meet the governance standards. Asking whether they do or not is patronising for those that do, and pointless for those that don't.
  • If you want to do something about governance, a question in the AIS isn’t the most appropriate place. The ACNC would be better served by running an education campaign or holding information sessions around the country.
  • This could lead to a ‘tick-and-flick’ approach from charities.
  • Questions on governance standards could be used to remind the sector that these standards are core compliance obligations.
  • The people completing the AIS may not be in a position to make this declaration.
  • Many charities already have extensive reporting requirements through quality assurance organisations, gender equity reports, various levels of governments, etc. There is no need to add to this with a question about governance standards.

What we have done

  • After much consideration, we have decided to not ask any questions about governance standards in the 2017 AIS.
  • All registered charities (with the exception of basic religious charities) are required to meet the governance standards. We will continue to provide guidance on these standards and will consider further targeted education campaigns.