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ACNC Forum: Measuring and Reducing Red Tape

10 December 2013

Phoebe Duggan, a lawyer in the Not-for-profit Law team, attended the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission’s (ACNC) inaugural Forum ‘Measuring and Reducing Red Tape in the NFP Sector’ last week. The forum, held in Canberra, brought together policy makers, not-for-profit (NFP) representatives and government officials.

Facilitated by Professor David Gilchrist of Curtain University, the forum sought to define ‘red tape’ and gather practical recommendations from participants on reducing red tape for the NFP sector.

Representatives from individual charities provided compelling examples of the significant impact that red tape has on their ability to provide services. Within this context, discussion focused on a number of topical issues, including:

  • commonwealth grant guidelines, and the positive measures Commonwealth departments are taking to streamline reporting requirements for Commonwealth funded organisations
  • the importance of accurately measuring and costing red tape, in order to manage it’s impact, and strategies for capturing this information
  • the challenges raised by inconsistencies between State and Territory regulatory frameworks, such as fundraising laws, and the need for cooperation between governments to reduce the burden of complying with multiple regulatory regimes, and
  • the administrative difficulties caused by the inconsistencies between State and Commonwealth regulatory frameworks and the need to align reporting frameworks, particularly for those organisations incorporated as associations who are also registered charities.

The Forum demonstrated the ACNC’s commitment to actively collaborating with the NFP Sector - and we encourage the Government to take on board the recommendations of participants, which we understand will be collated and distributed in due course.