Commissioner’s Column – 19 April 2017

David Locke, acting Commissioner

With Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM away from the office this week meeting with charity regulators from other common law jurisdictions, I am acting as Commissioner of the ACNC in her absence.

2016 Annual Information Statement submissions continue

To date, 94% of registered charities have submitted their 2016 Annual Information Statement (AIS). I would like to thank all those charities who have displayed their commitment to transparency and accountability by submitting in a timely fashion.

I am calling on the remaining 6% to submit as soon as possible. We’ll be publishing a list of these charities in due course and are already issuing penalty notices to a range of large, medium and small charities in this group. Please check that every charity you are involved with, support or advise has filed their AIS.

And a more friendly reminder to those charities reporting on a calendar year (from 1 January to 31 December), you will be required to submit your 2016 Annual Information Statement by 30 June 2017.

You can prepare your submission now with our free resources, including our checklist, draft worksheet and 2016 Annual Information Statement guide – available at acnc.gov.au/2016AIS.

AASB Roundtables

The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) are planning roundtable events in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney to discuss changes to disclosure requirements, for the purposes of making financial reports more relevant and concise for not-for-profit entities. They are keen to hear from a range of charities, not just large organisations.

The roundtable sessions are being held in Sydney on 20 April, Canberra on 26 April and Melbourne on 27 April.

For more information or to register your interest, visit the AASB website.

Upcoming Webinars

Thank you to all those who attended yesterday’s webinar, discussing the findings from the 2015 Australian Charities Report. If you weren’t able to attend, the video and transcript of the session will be available shortly.

Our next free webinar is on 23 May 2017, and will focus on the requirements of running a registered charity. This is one of our most popular webinars of the year, and I recommend that anyone responsible for meeting ACNC obligations attends.

Sign up now for this webinar, or any of our future webinars, at acnc.gov.au/webinars.

Address for service

This is also a timely reminder to ensure that your charity’s address for service information is up to date. This is the contact address you have given us.

We find that many charities that face revocation for having failed to submit two Annual Information Statements do so because they have not kept their contact information up to date. This means that they have not received all the reminders and warnings that we have sent.

By simply logging into the Charity Portal and checking your address for service details, you can ensure that you’re receiving important reminders and notices from the ACNC.

You can read more about your charity’s address for service at acnc.gov.au/afs.

Queensland charities: complete your free Digital Scorecard

Queensland charities and not-for-profits can benefit from a new state government initiative designed to help organisations get better prepared to take advantage of digital technologies.

The Digital Scorecard was launched last month to help organisations learn how they can better use technology in their organisation and how they compare within their region and industry.

Visit the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation website for more information.

ANZAC Day

You may have seen media coverage recently regarding the South Australian, New South Wales, and Queensland RSLs. 

The ACNC has worked closely with RSL National over an extended period to identify and resolve a number of issues relating to RSL state branches. The ACNC continues to be actively involved and  is working with all parties to ensure that charitable assets and beneficiaries are protected ahead of ANZAC Day 2017.

ANZAC Day is a very important opportunity to recognise and commemorate the sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of Australians.

The work that is carried out by the veterans’ charities continues to be vital and relies heavily on public support by way of donations. The recently published National Mental Health Commission report, Review into the Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Services Available to current and former serving ADF members and their families, found that suicide rates, particularly for returned servicemen and women under the age of 30, are alarmingly higher than the general population.

You can find the details of all charities that support Australian veterans on the Charity Register at acnc.gov.au/findacharity.

I encourage you to continue to support registered charities that are providing services to servicemen and women, and their families, this ANZAC Day.

With very best wishes

David

Contact us

Our phone number is 13 ACNC (13 22 62) or you can email us at advice@acnc.gov.au.
Remember to also stay in touch via our social media accounts:

Return to all Commissioner's columns