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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

 

 

 

 

As read a third time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012

 

No.      , 2012

 

 

 

 

 

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

45-15..... Consultation...................................................................................... 24

Division 50—External conduct standards                                                        26

50-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 26

50-5....... Object of this Division...................................................................... 26

50-10..... External conduct standards................................................................ 27

50-15..... Consultation...................................................................................... 27

Part 3-2—Record keeping and reporting                                                               29

Division 55—Record keeping                                                                                  29

55-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 29

55-5....... Registered entities must keep records................................................ 29

55-10..... Recognised assessment activity ......................................................... 30

Division 60—Reporting                                                                                              31

Subdivision 60-A—Overview                                                                                 31

60-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 31

Subdivision 60-B—Annual information statements                                         31

60-5....... Registered entities must give annual information statements............. 31

Subdivision 60-C—Annual financial reports                                                     32

60-10..... Medium and large registered entities must give annual financial reports  32

60-15..... Requirements for annual financial reports......................................... 32

60-20..... Medium registered entities must have annual financial reports audited or reviewed 33

60-25..... Large registered entities must have annual financial reports audited.. 33

60-30..... Audit or review................................................................................. 33

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

60-40..... Auditor’s or reviewer’s independence declaration............................ 35

60-45..... Auditor’s report on annual financial report....................................... 35

60-50..... Reviewer’s report on annual financial report..................................... 36

60-55..... Auditor or reviewer to be provided with information and assistance 36

60-60..... Basic religious charities..................................................................... 37

Subdivision 60-D—Errors in information statements and financial reports   37

60-65..... Errors in information statements and financial reports...................... 37

Subdivision 60-E—Additional reporting requirements                                  37

60-70..... Object of this Subdivision................................................................. 37

60-75..... Additional reporting requirements—particular registered entity........ 38

60-80..... Additional reporting requirements—classes of registered entities..... 39

Subdivision 60-F—Substituted accounting periods                                          40

60-85..... Commissioner may approve a different accounting period................ 40

60-90..... Commissioner may impose conditions.............................................. 41

Subdivision 60-G—Collective and joint reporting                                           41

60-95..... Commissioner may approve collective or joint reporting by related entities             41

60-100... Commissioner may impose conditions.............................................. 43

60-105... Treatment of reporting groups as small, medium or large registered entities            43

Part 3-3—Duty to notify                                                                                                   45

Division 65—Duty to notify                                                                                      45

65-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 45

65-5....... Registered entities must notify Commissioner of certain matters...... 45

Chapter 4—Regulatory powers of the ACNC Commissioner             47

Part 4-1—Information gathering and monitoring powers                          47

Division 70—Information gathering powers                                                  47

70-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 47

70-5....... Commissioner may obtain information and documents..................... 47

70-10..... Commissioner may inspect and copy original documents................. 48

70-15..... Commissioner may retain original documents................................... 49

70-20..... Commissioner may inspect and retain copies of documents.............. 49

70-25..... Self-incrimination.............................................................................. 49

Division 75—Monitoring                                                                                           51

Subdivision 75-A—Overview                                                                                 51

75-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 51

Subdivision 75-B—Application of this Division                                                52

75-5....... Provisions subject to monitoring ...................................................... 52

75-10..... Information subject to monitoring ..................................................... 52

Subdivision 75-C—Monitoring powers                                                               53

75-15..... ACNC officer may enter premises by consent or under a warrant.... 53

75-20..... Monitoring powers of ACNC officer s .............................................. 53

75-25..... Operating electronic equipment......................................................... 54

75-30..... Securing evidence of the contravention of a provision subject to monitoring           55

75-35..... Individuals assisting ACNC officer s ................................................ 57

75-40..... ACNC officer may ask questions and seek production of documents 58

Subdivision 75-D—Obligations and incidental powers of ACNC officers 59

75-45..... Consent............................................................................................. 59

75-50..... Announcement before entry under warrant....................................... 60

75-55..... ACNC officer to be in possession of warrant................................... 61

75-60..... Details of warrant etc. to be given to occupier................................... 61

75-65..... Expert assistance to operate electronic equipment............................. 61

75-70..... Compensation for damage to electronic equipment........................... 63

Subdivision 75-E—Occupier’s rights and responsibilities                              64

75-75..... Occupier entitled to observe execution of warrant............................. 64

75-80..... Occupier to provide ACNC officer with facilities and assistance...... 64

Subdivision 75-F—Monitoring warrants                                                            65

75-85..... Monitoring warrants......................................................................... 65

Subdivision 75-G—Powers of issuing officers                                                   66

75-90..... Powers of issuing officers................................................................ 66

Subdivision 75-H—General provisions                                                               66

75-95..... Identity cards..................................................................................... 66

Part 4-2—Enforcement powers                                                                                    68

Division 80—Warnings                                                                                               68

80-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 68

80-5....... Commissioner may issue formal warning......................................... 68

Division 85—Directions                                                                                              70

Subdivision 85-A—Overview                                                                                 70

85-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 70

Subdivision 85-B—Commissioner’s power to give directions                       71

85-5....... Commissioner may give directions in certain circumstances............. 71

85-10..... Kinds of direction............................................................................. 72

85-15..... Power to comply with directions....................................................... 73

85-20..... Variation and revocation of directions............................................... 74

85-25..... Objections......................................................................................... 74

Subdivision 85-C—Non-compliance with a direction                                      75

85-30..... Non-compliance with a direction....................................................... 75

Division 90—Enforceable undertakings                                                            76

90-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 76

90-5....... Enforceable provisions..................................................................... 76

90-10..... Acceptance of undertakings.............................................................. 76

90-15..... Enforcement of undertakings............................................................ 78

Division 95—Injunctions                                                                                            79

95-1....... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 79

95-5....... Enforceable provisions..................................................................... 79

95-10..... Injunctions relating to federally regulated entity etc........................... 80

95-15..... Grant of injunctions.......................................................................... 80

95-20..... Interim injunctions............................................................................ 81

95-25..... Discharging or varying injunctions................................................... 81

95-30..... Certain limits on granting injunctions not to apply............................ 81

95-35..... Court to take account of objects of this Act....................................... 82

95-40..... Other powers of a court unaffected................................................... 82

Division 100—Suspension and removal of responsible entities             83

Subdivision 100-A—Overview                                                                               83

100-1..... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 83

Subdivision 100-B—Suspension and removal of responsible entities          84

100-5..... Commissioner’s exercise of power under this Subdivision.............. 84

100-10... Suspension of responsible entities.................................................... 85

100-15... Removal of responsible entities......................................................... 87

100-20... Effect of suspension or removal—suspended or removed responsible entities must not be reappointed  88

100-25... Effect of suspension or removal—prohibition on managing the registered entity     88

Subdivision 100-C—Acting responsible entities                                                90

100-30... Appointment of acting responsible entities........................................ 90

100-35... Acting responsible entities of trusts with constitutional corporations as trustees      90

100-40... Terms and conditions of appointment of acting responsible entities.. 92

100-45... Termination of appointments of acting responsible entities............... 92

100-50... Resignation of acting responsible entities.......................................... 92

100-55... Powers of acting responsible entities................................................ 92

100-60... Commissioner may give directions to acting responsible entities...... 93

Subdivision 100-D—Special provisions about acting trustees                       93

100-65... Property vesting orders..................................................................... 93

100-70... Property vested in acting trustee—former trustees’ obligations relating to books, identification of property and transfer of property............................................................................................. 94

Chapter 5—The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission 96

Part 5-1—The ACNC                                                                                                         96

Division 105—Establishment and function of the ACNC                         96

105-5..... Establishment.................................................................................... 96

105-10... Constitution of the ACNC................................................................ 96

105-15... Function of the ACNC...................................................................... 96

105-20 ... ACNC has privileges and immunities of the Crown......................... 96

Part 5-2—The Commissioner                                                                                        97

Division 110—Establishment, functions and powers of the Commissioner          97

110-5..... Establishment.................................................................................... 97

110-10... Assistance functions of Commissioner............................................. 97

110-15... Powers of Commissioner.................................................................. 97

110-20... Working with the Advisory Board.................................................... 98

Division 115—Terms and conditions of appointment                                99

115-5..... Appointment..................................................................................... 99

115-10... Term of appointment......................................................................... 99

115-15... Acting Commissioner....................................................................... 99

115-20... Remuneration.................................................................................... 99

115-25... Leave of absence............................................................................. 100

115-30... Disclosure of interests to the Minister............................................. 100

115-35... Outside employment....................................................................... 100

115-40... Other terms and conditions............................................................. 100

115-45... Resignation..................................................................................... 100

115-50... Termination of appointment............................................................ 100

115-55... Delegation....................................................................................... 101

Division 120—Staff and consultants                                                                  102

120-5..... Staff................................................................................................ 102

120-10... Consultants..................................................................................... 102

Part 5-3—Finance and reporting requirements                                               103

Division 125—ACNC Special Account                                                             103

125-5..... ACNC Special Account.................................................................. 103

125-10... Credits to the Account..................................................................... 103

125-15... Purposes of the Account................................................................. 103

Division 130—Annual report                                                                                104

130-5..... Annual report.................................................................................. 104

Chapter 6—The Advisory Board                                                               105

Part 6-1—The Advisory Board                                                                                  105

Division 135—Establishment, functions and powers                                105

135-5..... Establishment.................................................................................. 105

135-10... Membership.................................................................................... 105

135-15... Function and powers of Advisory Board........................................ 105

Division 140—Terms and conditions of appointment of members of the Advisory Board         107

140-5..... Appointment................................................................................... 107

140-10... Term of appointment....................................................................... 107

140-15... Remuneration and allowances......................................................... 107

140-20... Standing obligation to disclose interests.......................................... 108

140-25... Other terms and conditions............................................................. 108

140-30... Resignation..................................................................................... 108

140-35... Termination of appointment............................................................ 108

Division 145—Advisory Board procedures                                                   109

145-5..... Meetings of the Advisory Board..................................................... 109

Chapter 7—Miscellaneous                                                                                 111

Part 7-1—Secrecy                                                                                                                111

Division 150—Secrecy                                                                                              111

Subdivision 150-A—Preliminary                                                                        111

150-5..... Objects of this Division.................................................................. 111

150-10... Application of this Division to entities other than ACNC officers.. 111

150-15... Meaning of protected ACNC information ....................................... 112

150-20... ACNC officer not required to provide information in certain cases 112

Subdivision 150-B—Disclosure of protected ACNC information by ACNC officers     112

150-25... Offence—disclosure or use of protected ACNC information......... 112

Subdivision 150-C—Authorised disclosure                                                      113

150-30... Exception—disclosure in performance of duties under Act............ 113

150-35... Exception—disclosure on Register to achieve objects of this Act... 113

150-40... Exception—disclosure to an Australian government agency........... 113

150-45... Exception—disclosure or use with consent..................................... 114

150-50... Exception—disclosure of information lawfully made available to the public            114

Subdivision 150-D—On-disclosure of protected ACNC information        114

150-55... Offence—on-disclosure of protected ACNC information............... 114

150-60... Exception—on-disclosure or use for the purpose of the original exception              115

150-65... Exception—on-disclosure of information lawfully made available to the public      115

Part 7-2—Review and appeals                                                                                    116

Division 155—Preliminary                                                                                     116

155-5..... Application of this Part................................................................... 116

155-10... Decisions covered by single notice to be treated as single decision. 116

Division 160—Objections                                                                                        117

160-5..... How objections are to be made....................................................... 117

160-10... When objection is to be made.......................................................... 117

160-15... Commissioner to decide objections................................................. 118

160-20... Entity may require Commissioner to make an objection decision.... 118

160-25... Entity may seek review of, or appeal against, Commissioner’s decision  119

Division 165—AAT review of objection decisions and extension of time refusal decisions         120

165-5..... Modified AAT Act to apply............................................................ 120

165-10... Sections 27, 41 and 44A of the AAT Act not to apply to certain decisions              120

165-15... Modification of section 29 of the AAT Act.................................... 120

165-20... Modification of section 30 of the AAT Act.................................... 121

165-25... Modification of section 37 of the AAT Act.................................... 121

165-30... Modification of section 38 of the AAT Act.................................... 122

165-35... Modification of section 43 of the AAT Act.................................... 123

165-40... Grounds of objection and burden of proof...................................... 123

165-45... Implementation of Tribunal decisions............................................. 123

165-50... Pending review not to affect implementation of administrative decisions 124

165-55... Reviews may be combined.............................................................. 124

Division 170—Court appeals against objection decisions                      125

170-5..... Time limit for appeals...................................................................... 125

170-10... Grounds of objection and burden of proof...................................... 125

170-15... Order of court on objection decision............................................... 125

170-20... Implementation of court order in respect of objection decision....... 125

170-25... Pending appeal not to affect implementation of administrative decisions  126

170-30... Appeals may be combined.............................................................. 126

Part 7-3—Penalties                                                                                                             127

Division 175—Administrative penalties                                                          127

Subdivision 175-A—Overview                                                                             127

175-1..... Simplified outline............................................................................ 127

Subdivision 175-B—Penalties for statements                                                  127

175-5..... Application of this Subdivision to statements................................. 127

175-10... Penalty for false or misleading statements....................................... 127

175-15... Amount of penalty.......................................................................... 128

175-20... Base penalty amount ....................................................................... 129

175-25... Increase in penalty........................................................................... 129

175-30... Reduction of penalty if entity voluntarily tells the Commissioner... 130

Subdivision 175-C—Penalties for failing to lodge documents on time     131

175-35... Liability to penalty........................................................................... 131

175-40... Amount of penalty.......................................................................... 131

Subdivision 175-D—Machinery provisions for administrative penalties 132

175-45... Scope of Subdivision...................................................................... 132

175-50... Notification of liability.................................................................... 132

175-55... Due date for penalty........................................................................ 132

175-60... Remission of penalty....................................................................... 132

175-65... General interest charge on unpaid penalty....................................... 133

175-70... Collection of penalty by Commissioner of Taxation....................... 133

Part 7-4—Application of this Act to entities                                                       135

Division 180—Obligations, liabilities and offences                                    135

Subdivision 180-A—Overview                                                                             135

180-1..... Simplified outline............................................................................ 135

Subdivision 180-B—Unincorporated associations and bodies of persons 135

180-5..... Obligations and liabilities................................................................ 135

180-10... Offences.......................................................................................... 136

180-15... Offences—defences........................................................................ 136

Subdivision 180-C—Trusts                                                                                   137

180-20... Obligations and liabilities................................................................ 137

180-25... Offences.......................................................................................... 138

Subdivision 180-D—Bodies corporate                                                               138

180-30... Liabilities......................................................................................... 138

Subdivision 180-E—Rights of indemnity and contribution                          139

180-35... Rights of indemnity and contribution.............................................. 139

Part 7-5—Constitutional matters                                                                               140

Division 185—Constitutional matters                                                              140

185-5..... Concurrent operation of State and Territory laws............................ 140

185-10... Compensation for acquisition of property....................................... 140

Part 7-6—Forms and regulations                                                                              141

Division 190—Requirements about giving material                                 141

Subdivision 190-A—Object of this Division                                                     141

190-5..... Object of this Division.................................................................... 141

Subdivision 190-B—General provisions                                                           141

190-10... Approved forms.............................................................................. 141

190-15... Commissioner may defer time for lodgement.................................. 142

190-20... Declaration by entity....................................................................... 142

190-25... Declaration by entity where agent gives document.......................... 142

190-30... Declaration by agent........................................................................ 143

190-35... Signing declarations........................................................................ 143

190-40... Returns etc. given by registered entities that can change the governing rules of other registered entities  144

Division 195—Address for service                                                                     145

195-5..... Address for service......................................................................... 145

195-10... How documents may be given........................................................ 145

Division 200—Regulations                                                                                      147

200-5..... Regulations..................................................................................... 147

Chapter 8—Interpretation                                                                                148

Part 8-1—Core concepts                                                                                                 148

Division 205—Core concepts                                                                                148

Subdivision 205-A—Entities                                                                                 148

205-5..... Entities............................................................................................ 148

205-10... Companies...................................................................................... 149

205-15... Federally regulated entity ................................................................ 149

205-20... Constitutional corporation .............................................................. 149

Subdivision 205-B—Registered entities                                                             150

205-25... Small, medium and large registered entities..................................... 150

205-30... Responsible entity ............................................................................ 150

205-35... Basic religious charity .................................................................... 151

Subdivision 205-C—Other core concepts                                                          153

205-40... Contribution .................................................................................... 153

Part 8-2—Dictionary                                                                                                         154

Division 300—Dictionary                                                                                        154

300-5..... Dictionary....................................................................................... 154

 



This Bill originated in the House of Representatives; and, having this day passed, is now ready for presentation to the Senate for its concurrence.

B.C. WRIGHT

Clerk of the House of Representatives

House of Representatives

18 September 2012

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