Internally reviewable decisions under the ACNC Act

What are internally reviewable decisions?

Internally reviewable decisions are ACNC decisions that the the ACNC Act says that the ACNC must reconsider on the merits of the case, before any other review or appeal action can be taken.

The internally reviewable decisions set out in the ACNC Act are:

  • decisions about registering a charity – decisions not to register your charity, or not to register it as the type of charity you applied for
  • decisions about revoking a charity’s registration – decisions to revoke (cancel) your charity’s registration or not revoke it after you asked for this
  • decisions about an ACNC direction – decisions to give, vary or not change a formal direction of the ACNC. Directions are given by the ACNC to a charity, to do something or stop doing something, to make sure the charity meets the requirements of the ACNC Act
  • decisions about suspending a responsible person from office – decisions to suspend a person from their position on a charity’s governing body, including the length of suspension
  • decisions about removing a responsible person from office – decisions to remove a person from their position on a charity's governing body 
  • decisions not to remit administrative penalties – decisions to refuse to remit the whole or part of an administrative penalty (of more than two penalty units (approximately $340)) that the ACNC has imposed on a charity, responsible person or third party.

How do I ask for these decisions to be internally reviewed by the ACNC?

You can ask for an internal review of one of the decisions by:

  • making an application on the correct form, the Form 2A: Ask the ACNC to review a decision [PDF 191KB]
  • giving the completed notice of objection form to the ACNC within 60 days of the ACNC giving you the original decision
  • explaining in detail the reasons you object to the decision and are seeking a review.

It is important that your notice of objection form clearly states:

  • the decision you are unhappy with
  • all of the reasons (in detail) that you think the original ACNC decision was wrong.

This is because we will use this form when reviewing the decision and we will be able to review it more quickly if you provide all the information we need.

What happens to the original decision if I have put in an internal review application?

The ACNC Act does not say what the effect of the original decision will be in these circumstances. We have decided that, depending on the nature of the decision and the effect of it, we may not implement it straight away. Instead we will look at whether it is in the public interest to do so. If the decision is likely to affect a charity or responsible person’s existing interests, we will generally presume that it is in the public interest not to implement the original decision until the internal review is over.

Please read the Commissioner's Policy Statement on reviews and appeals for more information on the public interest considerations we will look at in deciding whether or not to implement the original decision.

Can I still ask for a decision to be internally reviewed after 60 days?

Even if you did not request a review of a decision within 60 days, you can still apply. You must tell us all of the reasons that you were unable to meet the deadline, and give us the completed Form 2A.

Once we receive your request, we will decide whether or not to accept your late application for internal review. We will write to you with our decision.

If we agree to accept your late application, we will treat it as if it had been lodged on time. If we do not agree to accept your late application, you can ask the AAT to review our decision.

Find out more about applying to the AAT.

What happens when the ACNC internally reviews a decision?

If you disagree with an internally reviewable decision, using a Form 2A, we must review the decision you are unhappy about and make a new decision.

We can:

  • make a new decision that is completely different from the decision you were unhappy with
  • make a new decision that is partly different from the decision you were unhappy with, or
  • agree with the original decision.

A new decision made as a result of internal review under the ACNC Act is called an ‘objection decision’. We will tell you our objection decision in writing, and give reasons for that decision.

What if the ACNC has not responded to my notice of objection?

We will always try to communicate with you about our review and to give you our objection decision within a reasonable time. If we do not, under the ACNC Act you can apply to require the ACNC to make its objection decision.

You can only ask for this if we have still not made our objection decision 60 days after:

  • your Form 2A was received by us, or
  • you have supplied any additional information we have requested about your Form 2A, whichever is later.

If we do not make an objection decision within 60 days of you submitting the request then you can take it that we have decided not to change our original decision.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the ACNC’s objection decision?

If you do not agree with our objection decision, please contact us to discuss the decision and your options.

If you disagree with our objection decision, you can ask the AAT to review our objection decision. Find out more about applying to the AAT.

You can also appeal the objection decision directly to a court. Going to court can be expensive and time consuming, but there might be times when you would prefer to appeal to a court instead of asking the AAT to review the decision.

You can also appeal to a court if the decision is not an internally reviewable decision under the ACNC Act.