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Back to "Community & Associations Newsletter - June 2022"


ACNC Reviews of Commissioner Information Statement and DGR investigations

For some time, the ACNC has been considering changes to its existing Commissioner Information Statement on Public Benevolent Institutions. It is hoped that the Statement will be reviewed and finalised in the near future. However, in the course of the review, it is essential that the Statement ultimately removes confusion or lack of clarity which presently deals with whether a Public Benevolent Institution can be registered under any other subtype.

There is ambiguity because the current Statement allows for any minor charitable purpose which is more than just an ancillary purpose to public benevolence, being permitted. On the other hand, particularly where a Public Benevolent Institution is owned or operated by a religious organisation, there is a risk that the advancement of religion would disqualify the Public Benevolent Institution from registering under the PBI subtype.

Other information statements that will be up for review would include that on social housing, anti-money laundering, external conduct standards.

Hand-in-hand with reviewing the statements, the ACNC has been funded to investigate all of the registered DGRs which now include non-charity DGRs which have been required to register as charities from a date around 2 September 2021. In that process, the ACNC is looking at how the external conduct standards are being met including when a charity is assisting vulnerable adults outside Australia. The emphasis is on accountability and acquittal of how that assistance is delivered and needing to provide evidence that it has reached its correct destination.

The ACNC remains active in creating a resource for all members of the public particularly those who are looking to donate for a particular type of need. The website has been redesigned and it is now possible to search not only by name or ABN but also by charity group or area.

Josephine Heesh, Partner

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