Charity watchdog, with the axe hanging, reports good work


The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission reports success in cracking down on dodgy groups. But the government still wants to chop it.

The Abbott government wants to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, the Labor-established watchdog for charitable organisations. But data released by the agency suggests its work is having an impact.

The ACNC says it has revoked the charity status of 246 charities it has not been able to locate, including religious organisations, preschool and parent clubs, trusts, foundations and health-related organisations. Labor says it proves the decision to cut the agency is folly.

The charity register administered by ACNC now has about 4000 organisations whose charity status is likely to be revoked. It means the groups don’t have access to Commonwealth charity tax concessions and the Tax Office is notified of the revocations.

There were 60,000-plus charities on the register as of April, with 3076 registered by the ACNC. Since being established in December 2012, almost 700 complaints have been received; 272 warranted an investigation. ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe said in a statement:

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.