Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Celebrating Governance Best Practice in the Third Sector

Best practice governance is vital to a strong respected third sector, said Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Stephens at tonight’s Transparency Awards ceremony.

The Transparency Awards were initiated by PricewaterhouseCoopers to recognise the quality and transparency of reporting in the third sector.

“The awards play a significant and valuable role in not only recognising excellence in the sector but also promoting best practice reporting by the role model of the winner and the learnings that are achieved through the intensive judging process,” said Senator Stephens.

Senator Stephens said that there is currently much activity, both Government and sector-led which is coalescing around third sector regulation issues.

“The government has been looking at how best to regulate and support the sector in a way that balances the need for good governance with a lean regulatory system. The focus is on enabling better regulation, not additional or burdensome regulation,” Senator Stephens said.

Dr Stephens outlined the government’s work on third sector regulatory reform, including commissioning the Productivity Commission to undertake a study into the contribution of the sector to the nation’s economy, funding the ABS to update its statistical information on the sector and securing the agreement of a working group of the Council of Australian Governments to start work on harmonising commonwealth, state and territory third sector regulation.

Senator Stephens presented the award to Oxfam for its outstanding reporting practices and the runner-up award to World Vision. She congratulated all participants for entering the awards, PricewaterhouseCoopers for initiating and hosting the awards each year and the other sponsors of the event: the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and the Centre for Social Impact.