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Back to "Community & Associations Newsletter - June 2024"


Misuse of Complex Corporate Structures and the Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness

The ACNC has announced its intention to target the inappropriate use of intricate organisational structures and how charities tackle cybersecurity issues.

Speaking at the Australian Governance Summit in Melbourne, ACNC Commissioner, Sue Woodward AM, highlighted the main areas of the ACNC’s compliance and enforcement strategy for the 2024-2025 financial year.

The Commissioner has expressed growing concern over the exploitation of complex structures by some entities to hide their non-compliance with the ACNC Act and Regulations.

Although most charities comply with their governance obligations, the complexities can lead to unclear oversight.

The Commissioner went on to address the more severe issue of organisations that potentially use complex structures to conceal illicit activities. The ACNC’s enforcement efforts will target organisations attempting to evade the law by exploiting structural complexities, alongside referring cases of suspected legal breaches to relevant authorities.

Cybersecurity challenges faced by charities will also remain a focal point for the ACNC. It is imperative that charities understand how to defend themselves against cyber threats as well as handle incidents if and when they occur.

The ACNC plans to probe into charities’ exposure to cybercrime, their strategies for mitigating these risks, and the importance of third-party risk management.

The ultimate goal is to reinforce public confidence, safeguard the integrity of registered charities, and mitigate against cyber risks that threaten the misuse of charities for terrorism, financial mismanagement, and the endangering of vulnerable persons.

Josephine Heesh, Partner

Grace Brophy, Associate




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