Treasury is seeking submissions on the draft legislative instrument and explanatory materials for changes to governance standard three in the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013 to expand the scope of impermissible activities that registered charities must not engage in or promote others to engage in.
In response to recommendation 20 of the Strengthening for Purpose: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Legislation Review 2018, released on 6 March 2020, the Government committed to explore legislative options to address uncertainty in the law. The amendments will include that, in addition to the current governance standard, registered charities:
- must not engage in conduct that may be dealt with as a summary offence relating to real property, personal property or persons under an Australian law; and
- must take reasonable steps to ensure their resources are not used, nor continued to be used, to promote or support any entity to engage in unlawful activities prohibited under the standard.
The purpose of governance standard three is to give the public confidence that a registered charity is governed in a way that is sustainable and consistent with its purposes, and that it protects its assets, reputation and the people it works with. The amendments are intended to ensure that governance standard three is more consistent with the disqualifying purposes set out in the Charities Act 2013.
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