Charities Commission: stay of execution or indefinite reprieve?

The federal government vowed to kill Australia’s charities and non-profits regulator, but now appears to be backing away. The Melbourne agency is more in the dark than ever over its future.

There’s confusion about the fate of the charities regulator, with the government appearing to back away from a pre-election promise to abolish the body.

But the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission is still in the dark, with a spokesperson unable to confirm whether it’s a stay of execution or an indefinite reprieve.

The Melbourne-based agency of 100 staff manages a database of 60,000 charities for compliance. Labor set up the body in 2012 in response to a Productivity Commission call for an independent regulator of charitable organisations and not-for-profit entities.

The Coalition argues the ACNC has been a red tape burden for charities and vowed to scrap the body. But new Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said last week it was no longer a priority. He told Fairfax Media:

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.