The Australian Government is moving to further strengthen governance arrangements for Commonwealth-funded organisations that deliver services to Indigenous Australians. Poor governance not only affects individual organisations delivering services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it also affects quality of services and outcomes achieved.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the changes will make the organisations more sustainable and increase their ability to deliver services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Most organisations delivering services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are already incorporated under Commonwealth legislation and have high levels of corporate governance,” Minister Scullion said.
“These changes will ensure all organisations that receive significant funding from the Australian Government to deliver programmes under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) meet the same high standards.
“Under the changes, detailed in new Guidelines for the IAS, organisations receiving grants that exceed a total of $500,000 in any one year and that fall within the Government’s Indigenous affairs portfolio will need to be incorporated under Commonwealth legislation.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations will need to incorporate under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006, while other organisations will need to incorporate under the Corporations Act 2001.
“If they haven’t already, organisations will have to be incorporated within six months of entering into the relevant funding agreement with the Australian Government.”
Statutory authorities, grants for capital works and procurement activities will be exempt from the requirements. Organisations can apply for exemptions from these requirements in special circumstances.
Minister Scullion said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations that incorporate under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 can access additional support services provided by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations such as training, advice, recruitment, and dispute resolution services to improve their performance and business standards.
“By supporting robust and accountable corporations delivering services under the IAS, more benefits can be delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Minister Scullion said.
Link to new Guidelines
Download media release:
2014-08-06 Strengthening Governance in Ind Orgs FINAL.pdf