New laws will strengthen transparency

Charities will be subject to a raft of new measures under proposed federal legislation (Bigstock)

Charities will be forced to reveal the salaries of their highest-paid staff under wide-ranging transparency laws to be introduced by the Morrison Government. Source: The Courier-Mail.

By Renee Viellaris, The Courier-Mail

The $150 billion sector will be hit with a new blowtorch after cabinet ticked-off on a suite of reforms after a landmark review recommended trust in the industry needed to be strengthened.

Legislation will be introduced to ensure large registered charities – likely those that take more than $1 million dollars in donations a year – disclose how much they pay their executives and potentially their directors.

The review stated that, “this recommendation is aimed at providing greater accountability to donors, beneficiaries and the public requiring charities to be transparent about the remuneration of key management personal”.

In 2017, more than 8000 charities reported revenue of more than $1 million. The threshold that will force charities to open their books will be negotiated with states and territories but it is likely to apply to those that raise between $1 million and $5 million.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission regulates about 57,000 charities in Australia.

The statutory five-year review into the ACNC — which was carried out before questions were raised about how bushfire donations were being delivered — has also recommended closing a potential loophole for money to be laundered through charities and potential terrorism financing.

Assistant Minister for Finance and Charities Zed Seselja said the review made 30 recommendations and the Government supported in full, in-part or in-principle 21 of them.

The Government dismissed a recommendation that would have recommended increased red tape for religious charities in a move likely to rankle The Greens.

“The Government recognises that charities make extremely valuable contributions to the Australian community and is committed to fostering a vibrant and innovative sector,’’ Senator Seselja said.

“To assist them continue their important work, the Government will implement reforms to reduce red tape, improve transparency and ensure the ACNC continues to be an effective regulator.”

He said the Government would also introduce measures to reduce red tape for smaller charities.

“This means charities, particularly smaller charities, will be able to dedicate more time and resources to their purposes.”

FULL STORY

Charities to reveal salaries of highest paid staff under proposed laws (The Courier-Mail)

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