Deep in the 6 October 2020 Federal Budget papers is an announcement about significant extra funding for compliance review work by the ACNC over the next 3 years.
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Review Program Payments
The Government will provide $2.9 million over three years from 2020-21 [$0.5M in 20-21, and $1.2M in each of 21-22 & 22-23] to implement a program of field-based compliance reviews to intervene early where charities are at high risk of failing, to meet the obligations under the governance standards of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
The review function will strengthen the ACNC’s ability to provide greater assurance to Government and the public that charities have appropriate governance structures in place and are using their income for charitable purposes, including when responding to natural disasters.
Source: https://budget.gov.au/2020-21/content/bp2/download/bp2_complete.pdf (page 160)
All charities need to consider the steps they are taking to seek to ensure compliance with the ACNC Governance Standards, and think about what evidence will be provided to the ACNC when they come knocking.
Our charity law team regularly assists charities in understanding and applying the governance standards including the development of policies, processes and registers to encourage compliant good governance and provide a ready source of evidence to regulators like the ACNC about the steps being taken by the charity to comply. Our lawyers are also available for Board and senior staff training.