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Discussion invited on public ancillary funds

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The discussion paper outlines the Government’s view on the essential characteristics of a new framework for public ancillary funds. It proposes several changes to the current regulatory system, including the introduction of legislative guidelines. These guidelines will allow for regular valuation of assets, which will clarify investment and distribution rules, and will contain a system of administrative penalties for small breaches instead of the harsh ‘all or nothing’ penalty system that currently applies.

The proposed changes introduce a new regulatory framework similar to that introduced in October 2009 for private ancillary funds. The measure will start on 1 July 2011.

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation the Hon Bill Shorten said “Charities taking donations from the public for general causes, which are called public ancillary funds, need to have the trust of the people who donate to them. The proposed changes will improve the accountability of those funds and give Australians more certainty that their donations are being used wisely. Public ancillary funds have a duty to distribute these donations as efficiently as possible to the many worthy charities seeking valuable public support.”

The Assistant Treasurer encourages interested parties to provide their comments on the paper by 17 December 2010.

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