In a submission to the Treasury’s Review of the Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission (ACNC), the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) has rejected a proposed expansion of the ACNC’s remit.

The ACNC had recommended that its Act be amended to include promoting the effective use of  resources of not-for-profits and accountability to donors, beneficiaries and the public.

CHIA Executive Director, Peta Winzar, says the recommendation is misguided.

‘First and foremost, the Board of a not-for-profit organisation is responsible for ensuring its resources are used effectively,’ Ms Winzar says.

‘Second, in the community housing sector the state-based regulators which operate under the National Regulatory Scheme for Community Housing, and its counterparts in Victoria and Western Australia, periodically review the effectiveness of both for profit and not-for-profit registered community housing organisations.

‘Third, the he National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH) publishes sector-wide data on the effectiveness of the registered sector. Sector-wide information about tenant and housing outcomes of community housing organisations is also published by the Productivity Commission in its annual Report on Government Services.

‘So we see no value in the ACNC shadowing the functions of a Board, or duplicating the existing arrangements for regulating and reporting on community housing organisations,’ Ms Winzar says.

However, CHIA did support the ACNC’s proposal to include a statutory definition of a ‘not-for-profit organisation’ to clarify how assets will be handled in the event of an organisation winding up.

‘CHIA would also welcome further work by the ACNC and the Australian Accounting Standards Board to improve the reporting framework for registered charities,’ Ms Winzar says.

‘We would, of course, expect that changes to the reporting framework will advance the existing objective of the Act to reduce unnecessary regulatory obligations on the Australian not-for-profit sector.’