We previously reported on the AustralianCharities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014 (Cth), which was introduced into Federal Parliament on 19 March 2014 and proposes to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ("ACNC").  The Bill was subsequently referred to the Senate Economics ReferencesCommittee.  On 16 June 2013, the Committee tabled its report on the Bill.

The Committee’s report, led by the Coalition, recommended the Bill be passed and commented that the abolition of the ACNC would relieve the regulatory burden from many charities.  The report endorsed the establishment of the National Centre of Excellence, together with a two-staged abolition process, which the Committee commented would provide certainty to the sector regarding the future of the ACNC while allowing the details to be finalised in consultation with stakeholders.  However, dissenting reports by Labor and Greens Senators have recommended the Bill not proceed.  More than one hundred and fifty submissions were received by the Committee, with over 80% opposing the proposed abolition of the ACNC.

Further, the Department of Social Services recently released an options paper outlining the Coalition’s proposed replacement arrangements following the abolition of the ACNC.  As expected, the options paper reflects the Coalition’s desire to return certain regulatory functions to the ATO and ASIC.  For example, ASIC reporting obligations would be reinstated and responsibility for determining eligibility for charitable status would return to the ATO.  Submissions in response to the options paper will close on 20 August 2014, indicating that the proposed arrangements will not be progressed until later this year.

To view the Committee’s report (and dissenting reports), click here.

To view our previous update on the Bill, click here.

To view the Department of Social Services options paper, click here.