Release of 2013–14 ACNC Annual Report

The ACNC’s 2013-14 ACNC Annual Report was tabled in Parliament last week and I am now pleased to be able to share it with you all. The report is the second annual report of the ACNC and the first to cover a complete year of our operation as the regulator of Australia’s charities.

Some key highlights for the 1 July 2013 – 30 June 2014 period include:

  • 40 000 Annual Information Statements submitted, with 25 000 governing documents and 7 000 financial reports voluntarily submitted and published.
  • 60 736 charities on the ACNC Charity Register and 303 158 views of the Register.
  • 3 100 new charities registered, the majority of them small in size.
  • 41 433 phone enquiries answered by ACNC Advice Services.
  • More than 3.6 million views of acnc.gov.au and 1.5 million Charity Portal page views.

Red tape reduction

The annual report also details our efforts to free charities of red tape. One particularly notable achievement mentioned in the report is the Charity Passport, launched in June 2014, and the foundation of our ‘report once, use often’ framework. The Charity Passport enables the ACNC to share the information we collect from registered charities with authorised government agencies. Furthermore, as announced earlier this year, charities are able to submit financial reports provided to state and territory regulators as part of their 2014 Annual Information Statement reporting. Treasury has estimated that this will lead to an annual saving of $5.9 million in compliance costs.

The report also provides a frank account of how we have continued in a climate of uncertainty and its impacts on staffing, the sector and our capacity to give full effect to the objects in the ACNC Act. The report is available at acnc.gov.au/annualreport

Senate Estimates and Brisbane Curtin Charities 2013 report launch event

Our red tape reduction activities were also a key topic of discussion at Senate Estimates on Wednesday 22 October which I attended together with Assistant Commissioner Charity Services David Locke and Assistant Commissioner General Counsel Murray Baird. I explained the findings of both the Curtin Charities 2013 Report and Ernst and Young Red Tape Report, including the EY finding that the estimated average annual burden imposed by ACNC reporting obligations was $150, or 0.1 per cent of total annual burden.

David and Murray also attended the Brisbane Curtin Charities 2013 Report launch last week hosted by Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand. It was another successful event and I thank CAANZ for hosting and those from the sector who attended. Our final event will be held in Adelaide on 12 November. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

IPAA National Conference

It was pleasing that the recent conference of the Institute of Public Administration in Perth had a session with speakers from the Not-for-profit sector.  There was a session on partnerships with Government and each speaker was asked to provide three words that encapsulated partnerships.  I proposed - authenticity, respect and evidence- based; Ian Carter from Anglicare WA proposed contexts, relationships and outcomes; and Robyn Kruk (Chair of the WA Partnership Forum) put pragmatism, persistence and attitude.  These sessions were a great opportunity to use newly available data (Curtin Research, PWC-CSI, Pro Bono and ABS) and to demonstrate the role of the ACNC as the 'source of truth' on the NFP sector.

2014 Annual Information Statement

Charities with 2014 Annual Information Statements due by 31 December will soon be receiving written reminder notices either by email or by post depending on their address for service. I would like to encourage charities to submit as soon as possible and note that the ACNC will be closed from Wednesday 24 December 2014 to Thursday 1 January 2015.

More information and guidance on the 2014 Annual Information Statement is available on our website at acnc.gov.au/2014AIS

‘Red mark’ for 2013 Annual Information Statement late filers

As publicised in my previous column and in this media release, charities that were more than 6 months overdue had until 31 October 2014 to submit their 2013 Annual Statement in order to avoid having a red mark against their name on the Charity Register.

Charities that failed to meet this deadline now have a ‘red mark’ against their charity’s entry on the ACNC Charity Register to show their 2013 Annual Information Statement is overdue. You can find these charities on our Register at acnc.gov.au/findacharity.

These charities may also face others penalties including loss of their entitlement to Commonwealth charity tax concessions. More information about penalties is available. For help with the 2013 Annual Information Statement, visit acnc.gov.au/2013AIS.

Ask ACNC sessions in Kalgoorlie and Burnie

If you are located near Kalgoorlie or Burnie I encourage you to attend our free  ACNC Roundtable with the Commissioner  to be held in Kalgoorlie  on Monday 10 November, and in Burnie on Saturday 15 November. The sessions will provide an update on the ACNC, information on how to meet your charity requirements, and time for 1:1 discussion on specific issues.

You can register for the sessions below:

Do you know any of our ‘missing charities’?

We continue to clean up our Charity Register by revoking the registration of inactive charities.  If you know any of these missing charities we have been unable to contact, please contact us.

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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