I extend my thanks to all the charities who have submitted their Annual Information Statement to the ACNC by the 30 June deadline.

Almost 39 000 charities have lodged their statement to date, meeting their reporting obligations to the ACNC. We are aware of the heavy volume of data on the ACNC portal and, as Commissioner, I have agreed that any statements lodged on or before Sunday 6 July will be considered to have been statements by the 30 June deadline.

I am proud of the excellent work done by ACNC staff to support charities to submit their statements. In the lead up to the 30 June deadline we received record numbers of phone calls and emails. One day this week alone we received 2 600 individual and bulk statements. It is encouraging to see several charities have taken the opportunity to use the bulk lodgement process.

Latest snapshot of the Australia NFP sector

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its latest analysis on the NFP sector, providing a compelling picture of the value the sector contributes to Australian society. Non-profit institutions contributed nearly $55 billion to the economy in 2012-13, an increase of $22 billion in 2006-07 – the last time comprehensive data of the sector was available. The ABS data also reveals non-profit institutions held $176 billion worth of assets and employed more than 1 million people. The full report is available from the ABS website.

2014 financial statements for state regulators accepted by ACNC

I spoke to a CPA function in Ballarat last week and was made aware through the questions that not all charities are aware that I have exercised discretion to avoid duplicate reporting. As announced in February this year, I have exercised my discretion as Commissioner and have agreed to accept charities’ financial reports submitted to state and territory regulators in place of ACNC annual financial reports for the 2014 reporting period.

This is an important step in avoiding unnecessary duplication for charities and is consistent with the third object of the ACNC Act to promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the sector.

Charities, including incorporated associations, co-operatives and charitable fundraising organisations, completing their 2014 Annual Information Statements will be able to electronically submit the same financial reports they have provided to their state regulators to the ACNC. A full list of charity types and states where reporting is required is available on our website.

Inquiry and consultation regarding future regulatory arrangements for Australian charities

The Department of Social Services will commence consultation on the proposed future regulatory arrangements for Australian charities following the Senate Economics Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the ACNC (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014.

This consultation is separate to consultations being carried out by the Centre for Social Impact into the creation of the Civil Society National Centre of Excellence (NCE), in which the regulatory functions of the ACNC are not part of the NCE’s scope.

In the meantime, the ACNC remains Australia’s national charity regulator and will continue to regulate the sector and perform its legislative functions until any change is legislated by Parliament. The first Repeal Bill and explanatory memorandum can be viewed on the Parliament of Australia website, along with the Senate committee reports. The ACNC’s response to the Senate inquiry reports is available on our website.

Good wishes
Susan Pascoe AM
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

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