Reducing the Compliance Burden of Non-profit Organisations: Cutting Red Tape



Australian governments now rely on the non-profit sector to provide essential services. Yet, anecdotally, the compliance burden imposed by governments consumes scarce service delivery resources. This study quantifies the cost of government generated paperwork for Queensland non-profit organisations. Fourteen non-profits kept logs to record government paperwork over 12 months. The non-profits also provided their experiences of government paperwork and in particular grant submission and reporting processes. The study finds that government grant paperwork forms the bulk of a non-profits total paperwork burden with grant submissions being the most costly to complete. Costs are clearly regressive with small non-profits bearing a significantly higher burden. Governments need to lead the way and empower the non-profit sector by reducing this administrative burden and releasing the funds for direct service provision.