Administration of charitable trusts

CAMAC has released its report Administration of charitable trusts which deals with administrative arrangements for charitable trusts managed by licensed trustee companies.

CAMAC has recommended that:

  • the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission conduct, or coordinate, Stewardship audits of a cross-section of charitable trusts administered by LTCs. The purpose of these audits would be overcome the present deficit of relevant and indisputable information on the state of administration of charitable trusts, including the extent to which each trustee has assumed its responsibilities and exercised its powers for the purpose of achieving the primary intent of the donor. These Stewardship audits could be initiated without delay, as they do not require legislative intervention.
  • the introduction of a statutory ‘fair and reasonable’ requirement for all fees and costs charged against a charitable trust. The proposed obligation on LTCs to file statements of compliance with this requirement would be consistent with promoting the primary intent of the donor .
  • changes to the judicial dispute resolution procedures to enhance access to the court, and to broaden the court’s remedial powers, including in regard to whether fees and costs charged against a particular charitable trust are excessive or whether an LTC should be replaced as the trustee of a particular charitable trust.

Depending upon the information obtained from the Stewardship audits, and any preliminary indications from the enhanced judicial dispute resolution process, CAMAC has recommended that consideration should be given to whether further regulatory or other initiatives are warranted.

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