Transitional approach to regulation

As a relatively new regulator, the ACNC understands that charities will need time to learn about their obligations and how to comply with them. The ACNC is working hard on arrangements that will affect the way charities interact with us, including our relationship with other government agencies.

Information, support and guidance

The ACNC understands that, before any charity can be expected to comply, they must be aware of and understand their obligations. Therefore, in the first three years our priority is to raise awareness and provide information, support and guidance.

Examples of this approach include:

  • delivering numerous community presentations and speaker presentations during 2013 and 2014 across Australia, including at all capital cities and a number of regional areas
  • an education and information program visiting covering capital cities and regional and remote areas across Australia, during 2013 and in 2014
  • investment in an excellent, friendly extended hours telephone advice service
  • ACNC staff presenting at a wide range of community and sector events
  • ACNC establishing a vibrant social media presence
  • a focus on delivering helpful, plain English guidance on our website.

Policies providing for transition

A number of our policies recognise that there will be a transitional phase in our work. These include:

Working with others

The ACNC is working with other regulators to develop and implement arrangements that will help us work more effectively together, to reduce the burden on charities. The ACNC is working collaboratively with a number of government agencies to deliver better outcomes for charities and to avoid any duplication or unnecessary reporting obligations.

The work that we are doing includes:

  • working closely with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to address practical issues in the coordination of our functions (for example, working on changes affecting some public benevolent institutions and health promotion charities)
  • working closely with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) to overcome practical issues in the transition in the shift in reporting by companies to the ACNC (for example, notification of details of company secretaries)
  • working with other government agencies (for example, the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)) to identify the reports that the ACNC will accept from other regulators in the establishment phase
  • developing and building relationships with other government agencies to promote the reduction of unnecessary reporting obligations (for example, working with South Australia and the ACT to harmonise reporting), and 
  • developing and building relationships with other government agencies to facilitate coordination of our compliance and enforcement activities (for example, working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to give tips on how to donate safely).