IPAA Award

Last week in Canberra I was proud to accept an Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Public Sector Innovation Award on behalf of the ACNC. The Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, presented the ACNC with the stunning award for the Digital Transformation category (pictured below).

The award recognises initiatives that demonstrate the spirit of digital transformation, including providing better and easier services and interactions with citizens. The ACNC’s Charity Portal was one of three finalists.

The Charity Portal is a secure self-service system that charities can use to meet their obligations to the ACNC. Along with the Charity Register and the Charity Passport, the Charity Portal is one of the pillars of our digital-by-default approach to engagement.

Since it was launched in November 2013, the Charity Portal has hosted over 560,000 sessions, allowing registered charities to log in and complete a range of forms quickly and easily.

The award is a fantastic acknowledgement of the hard work of the ACNC’s IT team over the past four years. My thanks to all involved.

IPAA Act have released a video of the award ceremony, click here to watch it.

ACNC IT Director Ben Rashid, Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Education and Public Affairs Director Susie Cotterill, Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM, and IPAA ACT President Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM, at the IPAA awards ceremony in Canberra on 27 July 2016.

New Advisory Board

As I announced in my 24 May Commissioner’s Column the inaugural ACNC Advisory Board, which had been in place since the establishment of the ACNC, was superseded by a new Board. Three members of the inaugural Board (Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes, Deputy Chair Fiona McLeay, and Gina Anderson) were retained for a period of 18 months.

The new ACNC Advisory Board, chaired by Tony Stuart, met for the first time at the ACNC’s Docklands office last Thursday and Friday. Prior to the meeting induction was provided for the Chair and new Board members Martin Laverty, CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Prof David Gilchrist of Curtin University. The meeting was an excellent opportunity for the ACNC to discuss our work with the Board, particularly the new members and Chair, and for the new Board to raise ideas and opportunities.

A communique will be published soon on the ACNC’s website at acnc.gov.au/advisoryboard. The Advisory Board page will also soon be updated with biographies and photos of the new Board.

Ask ACNC

In case you missed it, the ACNC will soon embark on a nation-wide series of free workshops for people running registered charities.

The Ask ACNC sessions will feature a presentation from myself, or Assistant Commissioner Charity Services David Locke, or Assistant Commissioner General Counsel Murray Baird, covering:

  • A charity sector update
  • Important information to help charities meet ACNC obligations
  • Future areas of focus for the ACNC, for example financial reporting and governance
  • Basic financial training

Some cities are reaching capacity, so I’d encourage you to register your interest as soon as possible.

For more information, or to register, visit acnc.gov.au/askacnc.

2017 Annual Information Statement Consultation

The ACNC is proposing to make some changes to the upcoming 2017 Annual Information Statement, which will be due in December 2017 or June 2018 for the vast majority of registered charities.

We are inviting a range of charities, professional advisers and key sector stakeholders in a number of regions across Australia to participate in face-to-face feedback sessions about the proposed changes. The face-to-face consultations will be held after Ask ACNC sessions in certain cities.

However, all registered charities and stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the consultation by completing the online survey. Your feedback will be vital to help us implement changes that make the Annual Information Statement easier for charities to complete, while ensuring all necessary information is captured.

The consultation survey is open now and will be available until 4 October 2016.

For more information visit acnc.gov.au/2017AISconsultation.

Helpful guidance for charities

Free webinar – ACNC Governance Standards

On Tuesday 9 August we will be hosting one of our most popular webinars: Meeting the ACNC’s Governance

Standards. The webinar will be hosted by April from our Education and Public Affairs team, and will discuss how the five Governance Standards apply to registered charities.

The webinar will include case studies, references to guides and resources that charities can download and there will also be a section on myth busting. Participants can also ask questions during the webinar. Best of all, all ACNC webinars are free!

Register now at acnc.gov.au/webinars.

Related Party Transactions

Related party transactions can be a tricky part of managing a registered charity’s finances.

When we talk about related party transactions, we specifically mean purchases, transfers, loans and leases to a person or organisation connected with a registered charity.

Sometimes charities will undertake transactions with related parties, and its good governance to carefully manage these transactions and ensure that they transparent and are appropriately recorded.

To assist, we have published some new guidance on this topic. You can find it at acnc.gov.au/relatedparty.

Good wishes
Susan Pascoe AM

Contact us

Our phone number is 13 ACNC (13 22 62) or you can email us at advice@acnc.gov.au.
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