Susan Pascoe - interim commissioner and head of the implementation taskforce of the Australian charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) - updated her commissioner's column yesterday (May 31).
In her latest post, she reassures the sector that the ACNC's new approach to regulatory and compliance management - which is set to come into effect on October 1 2012 - should not impact the majority of Australian charities.
According to Ms Pascoe, the ACNC are looking to roll out a system "that works for the majority of the sector who generally strive to 'do the right thing' and, not the minority who may be identified as seriously non-compliant".
In this way, ideally the new regulations should only affect those that are currently getting away with illegal or dubious methods and help them to become more compliant.
Ms Pascoe said that not only should this aim to stamp out any illegitimate organisations, it may also improve the reputation of the sector as a whole - therefore having indirect benefits for those who are complying with the regulations.
"It is noteworthy, that there was a clear view expressed in consultations that the overwhelming majority of well conducted charities did not want their reputation, or that of the sector, tainted by the negligence or wrongdoing of a few," she wrote.
The ACNC also intend on introducing a number of initiatives that can help organisations understand their obligations, such as guidance materials, site visits and monitoring activities.
In addition, the ACNC has also commissioned a professor from the Australian National University to put together an academic report about "good regulatory practise" - with specific references as to how this could be applied to the nonprofit sector.
Ms Valerie Braithwaite, who is an expert in the field of regulatory and governance, will be undertaking this project.
It is intended that this paper will help the ACNC taskforce in their further consultations with nonprofits and charity organisations.
In an earlier column on May 22, Ms Pascoe emphasised the importance of the consultation process in regard to the up-and-coming changes. She said that it was even one of the main reasons behind staging the introduction of regulatory reform.
"Allowing adequate time for the NFP sector to make the transition to the proposed regulatory system and providing ongoing and appropriate guidance and education is vital," Ms Pascoe explained.
For further details and to learn more about the ACNC taskforce, you may like to visit its website.