What is the Charity Passport?
The ACNC Charity Passport enables authorised government agencies to access ACNC charity data via a file transfer protocol (FTP) process for the purpose of reducing red tape for charities. By allowing agencies to access charity data directly from the ACNC, the Charity Passport reduces the amount of information that charities have to provide to different government agencies, in line with a 'report once, use often' reporting framework.
What is in the Charity Passport?
The Charity Passport contains all of the ACNC’s publicly available charity information, including financial information.
The Charity Passport information comes from the following sources:
- ACNC registration application form
- ACNC Annual Information Statements, including financial information
- Annual Financial Reports (required for medium and large charities)
- other updates that charities notify the ACNC of (for example, changes to charity contact details, responsible persons or governing documents).
The Charity Passport includes the following information about registered charities:
In future, the Charity Passport will also include financial information for all charities that have submitted an Annual Information Statement from 2014 onwards.
Some information in the Charity Passport can also be accessed at data.gov.au.
Privacy and security of information
Currently, only information that is publicly available on the ACNC Register is available through the Charity Passport. It does not include information that has been withheld from the Register. The ACNC may be able to give restricted access to withheld information to authorised agencies on request, under certain conditions.
Information available through the Charity Passport is securely stored and made available only to authorised government agencies. The integrity of the data held by the ACNC is also protected by a number of laws and administrative processes.
Use of the Charity Passport is subject to both the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the secrecy provisions in Part 7-1 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (the ACNC Act). The ACNC will only disclose charity information, and authorised government agencies can only access and use charity information, in accordance with those laws.
How government agencies can access the Charity Passport
The ACNC can provide Charity Passport access to another Australian government agency for the purposes of the ACNC Act, such as reducing unnecessary regulatory obligations.
Files are available to authorised government agencies through a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) process, either through a secure browser or through an FTP client, using secure FTP (sFTP).
The agency must request a user account by emailing email@example.com.
Once Charity Passport access is granted, a user can download or copy the files across to its system. The data is listed by Australian Business Number (ABN), which allows it to be filtered and matched.
In future, the data will be available through a web interface, allowing agencies to filter information before downloading it and to better link information with their own systems.
For further information, see Report Once, Use Often: Guide for government agencies on using the Charity Passport [PDF 1.44MB]
The Charity Passport and Commonwealth grants
The Charity Passport supports the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs), which require that:
- Commonwealth officials must have regard to information collected and made available by regulators (such as the ACNC) and should not seek this information from grant applicants/recipients, and
- if an organisation has provided a regulator with an audited financial statement, an audited financial acquittal should not be required, unless the grant is higher risk (under the CGRG Resource Management Guidance).
When government agencies request information, charities may direct them to the ACNC to obtain any information, governing documents or financial reports you have already provided to us. However, processes across government agencies, including the degree to which they use information from other regulators, varies.
Flowchart: how the Charity Passport works
Read an alternative text description of the above flowchart.