Office for the Not-for-Profit Sector
The Office for the Not-for-Profit Sector was established by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2010 with a mandate to 'drive and coordinate the not-for-profit sector reform agenda'.
The Office has a number of specific areas of focus, including:
NFP Reform Council
To assist in achieving the above outcomes, the Office is advised by the NFP Reform Council – which is chaired by Linda Lavarch and includes a range of highly respected individuals from the NFP sector. The Council's role is 'to provide advice on the reform agenda and not-for-profit issues', including:
- Advice on the implementation of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission
- Harmonisation of – and a nationally consistent approach to – fundraising and other Commonwealth, state and territory laws
- Streamlining Commonwealth Government tendering and contracting processes for government funded not-for-profit organisations, including the development of a common form contract.
Following extensive consultation the government and a broad range of not-for-profit organisations co-created the National Compact: working together. This agreement was established to put in place new and better ways of effectively working together to improve the lives of Australians. The National Compact will focus its work on eight priority actions which align with the agenda of the NFP Reform Council including:
- Document and promote the value and contribution of the not-for-profit sector.
- Protect the not-for-profit sector's right to advocacy irrespective of any funding relationship that might exist.
- Recognise not-for-profit sector diversity in consultation processes and sector development initiatives.
- Improve information sharing, including greater access to publicly-funded research and data.
- Reduce red tape and streamline reporting.
- Simplify and improve consistency of financial arrangements including across state and federal jurisdictions.
- Act to improve paid and unpaid workforce issues.
- Improve funding and procurement processes.
Support from Company Directors
We fully support the goals of the the Office. In our submission, Submission on Discussion Paper "Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission: Implementation Design", we noted:
"We are appreciative of the efforts of the ACNC Implementation Task Force. In particular, the Task Force is to be commended for the 3 month period they have allowed for interested parties to develop responses to the Discussion Paper. We also appreciate and encourage the continuation of the on-line and face-to-face engagement the ACNC Implementation Task Force has conducted, and continues to conduct, with interested stakeholders. We believe this is a model that should have been employed for other NFP reforms that fall outside of the Task Force’s area of responsibility."
It was also noted that "there is a huge amount of work which needs to be done to align the current layers of reporting requirements..." and, while supporting the COAG reform process, "it needs to be acknowledged that this process has in the past presented difficulties in achieving timely reform across all states and territories".
For more information, see our Submissions on NFP reform.