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What the ACNC can and can’t do

The ACNC helps charities with education and information about good governance to support a robust and ​vibrant sector. ​Learn more in this step.
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What the ACNC has the power to do

The ACNC helps charities with education and information about good governance to support a robust and ​vibrant sector. ​

As the national regulator for registered charities, the ​ACNC also has powers to investigate compliance with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth). ​

Anyone can raise a concern about a registered charity via the ACNC website.

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Before deciding on what action to take, the ACNC ​assesses the level of risk.

Generally, concerns are only acted on where:​

  • there is a serious risk to public trust and confidence in the sector, ​


  • they relate to a charity’s compliance with requirements of the ACNC Act.

We will go into what this means in a later section.

See more on the types of allegations about charities that are of particular concern to the ACNC.

Some concerns raised fall outside our area of regulatory responsibility

Some concerns about charities fall outside the ACNC’s area of regulatory responsibility. This means the ACNC does not have the power to act on them.

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Examples include:

  • Internal disputes (that are not a serious risk or do not breach the ACNC Act).
  • Contractual disputes between a charity and organisations or individuals.
  • Fundraising.
  • Quality of services by a charity (unless it breaches the ACNC Governance Standards).
  • The policies or action of a board that are within it powers.
  • Employment issues, such as unfair dismissal.

Find out where to get help with concerns that the ACNC does not have the power to address.

The case study in the next step examines in more detail what the ACNC can’t do.

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The ACNC: How We Help You

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