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Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012

2010-2011-2012

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012

 

No.      , 2012

 

(Treasury)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to establish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and a national regulatory framework for the not-for-profit sector, and for related purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Chapter 1—Introduction                                                                                        2

Part 1-1—Preliminary                                                                                                          2

Division 5—Preliminary                                                                                              2

5-5......... Short title............................................................................................. 2

5-10....... Commencement................................................................................... 2

5-15....... Crown to be bound............................................................................. 3

5-20....... Extension to external Territories.......................................................... 3

Division 10—Guide to this Act                                                                                 4

10-5....... Guide to this Act................................................................................. 4

Part 1-2—Objects of this Act                                                                                           5

Division 15—Objects of this Act                                                                              5

15-5....... Objects of this Act.............................................................................. 5

15-10..... Commissioner to have regard to certain matters in exercising powers and functions               5

Chapter 2—Registration of not-for-profit entities                       7

Part 2-1—Registration                                                                                                         7

Division 20—Object of this Part                                                                              7

20-5....... Object of this Part............................................................................... 7

Division 25—Entitlement to registration                                                            8

25-1....... Simplified outline................................................................................ 8

25-5....... Entitlement to registration.................................................................... 8

Division 30—Process of registration                                                                   11

30-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 11

30-5....... Application of this Division to various kinds of registration............. 11

30-10..... Applying for registration................................................................... 11

30-15..... Dealing with an application for registration....................................... 11

30-20..... Registration of entity......................................................................... 12

30-25..... Notifying outcome of application for registration.............................. 12

30-30..... Date of effect of registration.............................................................. 13

30-35..... Review of refusal of registration....................................................... 13

Division 35—Revoking registration                                                                    14

35-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 14

35-5....... Application of this Division to various kinds of registration............. 14

35-10..... Revoking registration........................................................................ 15

35-15..... Notice to registered entity to show cause.......................................... 17

35-20..... Review of revocation of registration................................................. 17

Part 2-2—Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Register                    18

Division 40—Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Register         18

40-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 18

40-5....... Commissioner to maintain Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Register          18

40-10..... Commissioner may withhold or remove information from Register. 20

Chapter 3—Responsibilities of registered entities                       22

Part 3-1—Governance standards and external conduct standards       22

Division 45—Governance standards                                                                   22

45-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 22

45-5....... Object of this Division...................................................................... 22

45-10..... Regulations establishing governance standards................................. 23

Division 50—External conduct standards                                                        24

50-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 24

50-5....... Object of this Division...................................................................... 24

50-10..... External conduct standards................................................................ 25

Part 3-2—Record keeping and reporting                                                               26

Division 55—Record keeping                                                                                  26

55-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 26

55-5....... Registered entities must keep records................................................ 26

55-10..... Recognised assessment activity ......................................................... 27

Division 60—Reporting                                                                                              28

Subdivision 60-A—Overview                                                                                 28

60-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 28

Subdivision 60-B—Annual information statements                                         28

60-5....... Registered entities must give annual information statements............. 28

Subdivision 60-C—Annual financial reports                                                     29

60-10..... Medium and large registered entities must give annual financial reports  29

60-15..... Requirements for annual financial reports......................................... 29

60-20..... Medium registered entities must have annual financial reports audited or reviewed 30

60-25..... Large registered entities must have annual financial reports audited.. 30

60-30..... Audit or review................................................................................. 30

60-35..... Audit or review to be conducted in accordance with auditing standards.. 32

60-40..... Auditor’s or reviewer’s independence declaration............................ 32

60-45..... Auditor’s report on annual financial report....................................... 32

60-50..... Reviewer’s report on annual financial report..................................... 33

60-55..... Auditor or reviewer to be provided with information and assistance 33

60-60..... Basic religious charities..................................................................... 34

Subdivision 60-D—Errors in information statements and financial reports   34

60-65..... Errors in information statements and financial reports...................... 34

Subdivision 60-E—Additional reporting requirements                                  34

60-70..... Object of this Subdivision................................................................. 34

60-75..... Additional reporting requirements—particular registered entity........ 35

60-80..... Additional reporting requirements—classes of registered entities..... 36

Subdivision 60-F—Substituted accounting periods                                          37

60-85..... Commissioner may approve a different accounting period................ 37

60-90..... Commissioner may impose conditions.............................................. 38

Subdivision 60-G—Collective and joint reporting                                           38

60-95..... Commissioner may approve collective or joint reporting by related entities             38

60-100... Commissioner may impose conditions.............................................. 40

60-105... Treatment of reporting groups as small, medium or large registered entities            40

Part 3-3—Duty to notify                                                                                                   42

Division 65—Duty to notify                                                                                      42

65-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 42

65-5....... Registered entities must notify Commissioner of certain matters...... 42

Chapter 4—Regulatory powers of the ACNC Commissioner             44

Part 4-1—Information gathering and monitoring powers                          44

Division 70—Information gathering powers                                                  44

70-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 44

70-5....... Commissioner may obtain information and documents..................... 44

70-10..... Commissioner may inspect and copy original documents................. 45

70-15..... Commissioner may retain original documents................................... 46

70-20..... Commissioner may inspect and retain copies of documents.............. 46

70-25..... Self-incrimination.............................................................................. 46

Division 75—Monitoring                                                                                           48

Subdivision 75-A—Overview                                                                                 48

75-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 48

Subdivision 75-B—Application of this Division                                                49

75-5....... Provisions subject to monitoring ...................................................... 49

75-10..... Information subject to monitoring ..................................................... 49

Subdivision 75-C—Monitoring powers                                                               50

75-15..... ACNC officer may enter premises by consent or under a warrant.... 50

75-20..... Monitoring powers of ACNC officer s .............................................. 50

75-25..... Operating electronic equipment......................................................... 51

75-30..... Securing evidence of the contravention of a provision subject to monitoring           52

75-35..... Individuals assisting ACNC officer s ................................................ 54

75-40..... ACNC officer may ask questions and seek production of documents 55

Subdivision 75-D—Obligations and incidental powers of ACNC officers 56

75-45..... Consent............................................................................................. 56

75-50..... Announcement before entry under warrant....................................... 57

75-55..... ACNC officer to be in possession of warrant................................... 58

75-60..... Details of warrant etc. to be given to occupier................................... 58

75-65..... Expert assistance to operate electronic equipment............................. 58

75-70..... Compensation for damage to electronic equipment........................... 60

Subdivision 75-E—Occupier’s rights and responsibilities                              61

75-75..... Occupier entitled to observe execution of warrant............................. 61

75-80..... Occupier to provide ACNC officer with facilities and assistance...... 61

Subdivision 75-F—Monitoring warrants                                                            62

75-85..... Monitoring warrants......................................................................... 62

Subdivision 75-G—Powers of issuing officers                                                   63

75-90..... Powers of issuing officers................................................................ 63

Subdivision 75-H—General provisions                                                               63

75-95..... Identity cards..................................................................................... 63

Part 4-2—Enforcement powers                                                                                    65

Division 80—Warnings                                                                                               65

80-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 65

80-5....... Commissioner may issue formal warning......................................... 65

Division 85—Directions                                                                                              67

Subdivision 85-A—Overview                                                                                 67

85-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 67

Subdivision 85-B—Commissioner’s power to give directions                       68

85-5....... Commissioner may give directions in certain circumstances............. 68

85-10..... Kinds of direction............................................................................. 69

85-15..... Power to comply with directions....................................................... 70

85-20..... Variation and revocation of directions............................................... 71

85-25..... Objections......................................................................................... 71

Subdivision 85-C—Non-compliance with a direction                                      72

85-30..... Non-compliance with a direction....................................................... 72

Division 90—Enforceable undertakings                                                            73

90-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 73

90-5....... Enforceable provisions..................................................................... 73

90-10..... Acceptance of undertakings.............................................................. 73

90-15..... Enforcement of undertakings............................................................ 75

Division 95—Injunctions                                                                                            76

95-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 76

95-5....... Enforceable provisions..................................................................... 76

95-10..... Injunctions relating to federally regulated entity etc........................... 77

95-15..... Grant of injunctions.......................................................................... 77

95-20..... Interim injunctions............................................................................ 78

95-25..... Discharging or varying injunctions................................................... 78

95-30..... Certain limits on granting injunctions not to apply............................ 78

95-35..... Court to take account of objects of this Act....................................... 79

95-40..... Other powers of a court unaffected................................................... 79

Division 100—Suspension and removal of responsible entities             80

Subdivision 100-A—Overview                                                                               80

100-1..... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 80

Subdivision 100-B—Suspension and removal of responsible entities          81

100-5..... Commissioner’s exercise of power under this Subdivision.............. 81

100-10... Suspension of responsible entities.................................................... 82

100-15... Removal of responsible entities......................................................... 84

100-20... Effect of suspension or removal—suspended or removed responsible entities must not be reappointed  85

100-25... Effect of suspension or removal—prohibition on managing the registered entity     85

Subdivision 100-C—Acting responsible entities                                                87

100-30... Appointment of acting responsible entities........................................ 87

100-35... Acting responsible entities of trusts with constitutional corporations as trustees      87

100-40... Terms and conditions of appointment of acting responsible entities.. 89

100-45... Termination of appointments of acting responsible entities............... 89

100-50... Resignation of acting responsible entities.......................................... 89

100-55... Powers of acting responsible entities................................................ 89

100-60... Commissioner may give directions to acting responsible entities...... 90

Subdivision 100-D—Special provisions about acting trustees                       90

100-65... Property vesting orders..................................................................... 90

100-70... Property vested in acting trustee—former trustees’ obligations relating to books, identification of property and transfer of property............................................................................................. 91

Chapter 5—The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission 93

Part 5-1—The ACNC                                                                                                         93

Division 105—Establishment and function of the ACNC                         93

105-5..... Establishment.................................................................................... 93

105-10... Constitution of the ACNC................................................................ 93

105-15... Function of the ACNC...................................................................... 93

105-20 ... ACNC has privileges and immunities of the Crown......................... 93

Part 5-2—The Commissioner                                                                                        94

Division 110—Establishment, functions and powers of the Commissioner          94

110-5..... Establishment.................................................................................... 94

110-10... Assistance functions of Commissioner............................................. 94

110-15... Powers of Commissioner.................................................................. 94

110-20... Working with the Advisory Board.................................................... 95

Division 115—Terms and conditions of appointment                                96

115-5..... Appointment..................................................................................... 96

115-10... Term of appointment......................................................................... 96

115-15... Acting Commissioner....................................................................... 96

115-20... Remuneration.................................................................................... 96

115-25... Leave of absence............................................................................... 97

115-30... Disclosure of interests to the Minister............................................... 97

115-35... Outside employment......................................................................... 97

115-40... Other terms and conditions............................................................... 97

115-45... Resignation....................................................................................... 97

115-50... Termination of appointment.............................................................. 97

115-55... Delegation......................................................................................... 98

Division 120—Staff and consultants                                                                    99

120-5..... Staff.................................................................................................. 99

120-10... Consultants....................................................................................... 99

Part 5-3—Finance and reporting requirements                                               100

Division 125—ACNC Special Account                                                             100

125-5..... ACNC Special Account.................................................................. 100

125-10... Credits to the Account..................................................................... 100

125-15... Purposes of the Account................................................................. 100

Division 130—Annual report                                                                                101

130-5..... Annual report.................................................................................. 101

Chapter 6—The Advisory Board                                                               102

Part 6-1—The Advisory Board                                                                                  102

Division 135—Establishment, functions and powers                                102

135-5..... Establishment.................................................................................. 102

135-10... Membership.................................................................................... 102

135-15... Function and powers of Advisory Board........................................ 102

Division 140—Terms and conditions of appointment of members of the Advisory Board         104

140-5..... Appointment................................................................................... 104

140-10... Term of appointment....................................................................... 104

140-15... Remuneration and allowances......................................................... 104

140-20... Standing obligation to disclose interests.......................................... 105

140-25... Other terms and conditions............................................................. 105

140-30... Resignation..................................................................................... 105

140-35... Termination of appointment............................................................ 105

Division 145—Advisory Board procedures                                                   106

145-5..... Meetings of the Advisory Board..................................................... 106

Chapter 7—Miscellaneous                                                                                 108

Part 7-1—Secrecy                                                                                                                108

Division 150—Secrecy                                                                                              108

Subdivision 150-A—Preliminary                                                                        108

150-5..... Objects of this Division.................................................................. 108

150-10... Application of this Division to entities other than ACNC officers.. 108

150-15... Meaning of protected ACNC information ....................................... 109

150-20... ACNC officer not required to provide information in certain cases 109

Subdivision 150-B—Disclosure of protected ACNC information by ACNC officers     109

150-25... Offence—disclosure or use of protected ACNC information......... 109

Subdivision 150-C—Authorised disclosure                                                      110

150-30... Exception—disclosure in performance of duties under Act............ 110

150-35... Exception—disclosure on Register to achieve objects of this Act... 110

150-40... Exception—disclosure to an Australian government agency........... 110

150-45... Exception—disclosure or use with consent..................................... 111

150-50... Exception—disclosure of information lawfully made available to the public            111

Subdivision 150-D—On-disclosure of protected ACNC information        111

150-55... Offence—on-disclosure of protected ACNC information............... 111

150-60... Exception—on-disclosure or use for the purpose of the original exception              112

150-65... Exception—on-disclosure of information lawfully made available to the public      112

Part 7-2—Review and appeals                                                                                    113

Division 155—Preliminary                                                                                     113

155-5..... Application of this Part................................................................... 113

155-10... Decisions covered by single notice to be treated as single decision. 113

Division 160—Objections                                                                                        114

160-5..... How objections are to be made....................................................... 114

160-10... When objection is to be made.......................................................... 114

160-15... Commissioner to decide objections................................................. 115

160-20... Entity may require Commissioner to make an objection decision.... 115

160-25... Entity may seek review of, or appeal against, Commissioner’s decision  116

Division 165—AAT review of objection decisions and extension of time refusal decisions         117

165-5..... Modified AAT Act to apply............................................................ 117

165-10... Sections 27, 41 and 44A of the AAT Act not to apply to certain decisions              117

165-15... Modification of section 29 of the AAT Act.................................... 117

165-20... Modification of section 30 of the AAT Act.................................... 118

165-25... Modification of section 37 of the AAT Act.................................... 118

165-30... Modification of section 38 of the AAT Act.................................... 119

165-35... Modification of section 43 of the AAT Act.................................... 120

165-40... Grounds of objection and burden of proof...................................... 120

165-45... Implementation of Tribunal decisions............................................. 120

165-50... Pending review not to affect implementation of administrative decisions 121

165-55... Reviews may be combined.............................................................. 121

Division 170—Court appeals against objection decisions                      122

170-5..... Time limit for appeals...................................................................... 122

170-10... Grounds of objection and burden of proof...................................... 122

170-15... Order of court on objection decision............................................... 122

170-20... Implementation of court order in respect of objection decision....... 122

170-25... Pending appeal not to affect implementation of administrative decisions  123

170-30... Appeals may be combined.............................................................. 123

Part 7-3—Penalties                                                                                                             124

Division 175—Administrative penalties                                                          124

Subdivision 175-A—Overview                                                                             124

175-1..... Simplified outline............................................................................ 124

Subdivision 175-B—Penalties for statements                                                  124

175-5..... Application of this Subdivision to statements................................. 124

175-10... Penalty for false or misleading statements....................................... 124

175-15... Amount of penalty.......................................................................... 125

175-20... Base penalty amount ....................................................................... 126

175-25... Increase in penalty........................................................................... 126

175-30... Reduction of penalty if entity voluntarily tells the Commissioner... 127

Subdivision 175-C—Penalties for failing to lodge documents on time     128

175-35... Liability to penalty........................................................................... 128

175-40... Amount of penalty.......................................................................... 128

Subdivision 175-D—Machinery provisions for administrative penalties 129

175-45... Scope of Subdivision...................................................................... 129

175-50... Notification of liability.................................................................... 129

175-55... Due date for penalty........................................................................ 129

175-60... Remission of penalty....................................................................... 129

175-65... General interest charge on unpaid penalty....................................... 130

175-70... Collection of penalty by Commissioner of Taxation....................... 130

Part 7-4—Application of this Act to entities                                                       132

Division 180—Obligations, liabilities and offences                                    132

Subdivision 180-A—Overview                                                                             132

180-1..... Simplified outline............................................................................ 132

Subdivision 180-B—Unincorporated associations and bodies of persons 132

180-5..... Obligations and liabilities................................................................ 132

180-10... Offences.......................................................................................... 133

180-15... Offences—defences........................................................................ 133

Subdivision 180-C—Trusts                                                                                   134

180-20... Obligations and liabilities................................................................ 134

180-25... Offences.......................................................................................... 135

Subdivision 180-D—Bodies corporate                                                               135

180-30... Liabilities......................................................................................... 135

Subdivision 180-E—Rights of indemnity and contribution                          136

180-35... Rights of indemnity and contribution.............................................. 136

Part 7-5—Constitutional matters                                                                               137

Division 185—Constitutional matters                                                              137

185-5..... Concurrent operation of State and Territory laws............................ 137

185-10... Compensation for acquisition of property....................................... 137

Part 7-6—Forms and regulations                                                                              138

Division 190—Requirements about giving material                                 138

Subdivision 190-A—Object of this Division                                                     138

190-5..... Object of this Division.................................................................... 138

Subdivision 190-B—General provisions                                                           138

190-10... Approved forms.............................................................................. 138

190-15... Commissioner may defer time for lodgement.................................. 139

190-20... Declaration by entity....................................................................... 139

190-25... Declaration by entity where agent gives document.......................... 139

190-30... Declaration by agent........................................................................ 140

190-35... Signing declarations........................................................................ 140

Division 195—Address for service                                                                     142

195-5..... Address for service......................................................................... 142

195-10... How documents may be given........................................................ 142

Division 200—Regulations                                                                                      144

200-5..... Regulations..................................................................................... 144

Chapter 8—Interpretation                                                                                145

Part 8-1—Core concepts                                                                                                 145

Division 205—Core concepts                                                                                145

Subdivision 205-A—Entities                                                                                 145

205-5..... Entities............................................................................................ 145

205-10... Companies...................................................................................... 146

205-15... Federally regulated entity ................................................................ 146

205-20... Constitutional corporation .............................................................. 146

Subdivision 205-B—Registered entities                                                             147

205-25... Small, medium and large registered entities..................................... 147

205-30... Responsible entity ............................................................................ 147

205-35... Basic religious charity .................................................................... 148

Subdivision 205-C—Other core concepts                                                          149

205-40... Contribution .................................................................................... 149

Part 8-2—Dictionary                                                                                                         151

Division 300—Dictionary                                                                                        151

300-5..... Dictionary....................................................................................... 151

 



A Bill for an Act to establish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and a national regulatory framework for the not-for-profit sector, and for related purposes

Preamble

                   The Parliament of Australia recognises the unique nature and diversity of not-for-profit entities and the distinctive role that they play in Australia.

                   Not-for-profit entities promote a broad range of community, altruistic and philanthropic purposes. The not-for-profit sector delivers vital services and benefits to communities throughout Australia.

                   The not-for-profit sector receives a range of funding, including donations from members of the public and tax concessions, grants and other support from Australian governments.

                   It is important that a national regulatory system that promotes good governance, accountability and transparency for not-for-profit entities be introduced to maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in the not-for-profit sector.

                   It is therefore necessary to establish a Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission who will focus on the not-for-profit sector and will recognise and respond to the diversity and uniqueness of the sector.

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Registration of not-for-profit entities

Chapter 3 Responsibilities of registered entities

Chapter 4 Regulatory powers of the ACNC Commissioner

Chapter 5 The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Chapter 6 The Advisory Board

Chapter 7 Miscellaneous

Chapter 8 Interpretation