Catholic groups hold diverging views on Charity regulator

Groups at odds

The Catholic Education Commission has thrown its support behind the abolition of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), while another charity says it does not oppose the Commission, reports Pro Bono Australia.

According to Melbourne's Catholic Education Executive Director, Stephen Elder, excessive regulation and duplication through the ACNC has created a red tape nightmare for Catholic schools when they should be focussing on teaching kids.

'Catholic schools are already required to meet existing reporting requirements through the federal Department of Education, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, the state Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Australian Taxation Office, the Victorian Institute of Teaching and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority My School website,' Mr Elder said.

'We are highly accountable so we don’t see the value in keeping the ACNC as a regulatory body if it is only adding to the regulatory burden for charities and increased red tape and duplication.

'The charities commissions in New Zealand and the United Kingdom have already been exposed for not adding benefit to the charitable sector, with the New Zealand commission being wound up.

'Funding certainty should be the main priority for the Not for Profit sector, not regulation.'

Elder said he agreed with Catholic Health Australia CEO, Martin Laverty, and a growing number of charitable organisations that the sector had been negatively impacted by some aspects of the ACNC. 'State and Federal Governments need to harmonise reporting requirements for all charitable bodies, doing away with the need for duplication,' he said.

'Delegating regulation duties to the Australian Taxation Office would make sense because it’s an independent body.'

However another faith-based Not for Profit organisation - the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council - has called on the Federal Government to abandon its 'ideological opposition' to the ACNC.

'Rather than abolishing the ACNC, the Government would be well-advised to listen to the voices of the charitable and Not for Profit sector,' Chief Executive Dr John Falzon said.


ACNC Creates a ‘Red Tape Nightmare’ - Catholic Education (Pro Bono Australia News)


NCEC Reducing regulatory burden will help Catholic schools (NCEC)


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