Are you an Australian registered charity operating in the Pacific? Part 3
Make sure you’re complying with the ACNC External Conduct Standards
Many Australian not-for-profit organisations operate in the Pacific region. If you are a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), you are required to ensure you carry out your activities in accordance with the ACNC External Conduct Standards (ECS).
In Part 3 of our series on the ECS, we look at ECS 2 – Annual Review of Overseas Activities and Record-Keeping.
This standard requires charities to obtain and keep records of their operations outside Australia for each financial year in which a charity
operates outside of Australia or gives funds or other resources to third parties for use outside Australia.
A charity’s records must include all information necessary for it to prepare a summary of its operations outside Australia if required.
ACNC guidance states that a charity is likely to satisfy this standard if it has records that contain the following information:
the types of activities it conducted outside Australia on a country-by-country basis;
details of how its activities outside Australia enabled it to pursue and achieve its purpose on a country-by-country basis;
details of all expenditure relating to its activities outside Australia on a country-by-country basis;
details of any procedures and processes it used to monitor its overseas operations;
a list of the third parties it worked with outside Australia; and
details of any documented claims of inappropriate behaviour by its employees or Responsible Persons outside Australia, and the actions it took in response, including documenting if it breached an Australian or overseas law, or breached its own code of conduct.
The ACNC requires that a charity’s records kept in compliance with this standard are complete, accurate and legible, prepared on a timely basis, kept in English (or a form that can be easily translated into English) and stored securely. The records must be kept for at least 7 years and may be kept in electronic form.
Although a charity is not required to provide a copy of the records it maintains in accordance with this Standard to the ACNC, the ACNC may request this information from a charity as part of an enquiry or investigation, in which case, the charity must provide the records requested in a timely manner.
For more information on how we can assist your Not For Profit to comply with the ECS, please contact us.
Responsible persons are individuals who are responsible for governing a charity. Generally, a charity’s Responsible Persons are its board or committee members but may also include its CEO.