Monday, September 21, 2009

Bill C-4, Non-Profit Reform Shows the Reason Associations Need Legislative Monitoring

In June, Parliament enacted a major reform that will affect thousands of non-profits from across Canada. Those organizations who are federally incorporated will need to re-register their incorporation and follow new transparency guidelines. After reviewing the documentation over the course of the summer, I must admit that directly speaking, C-4 is not overly political. However, it will have very broad-based impact on numerous associations and charities across Canada. Using this bill, here's how in just one example, not having monitored the on-goings of Ottawa could potentially place an NPO in hot water:

  • The Bill requires all federally incorporated non-profits, associations, and charities to re-register their incorporation

  • It also imposes important new requirements to demonstrate transparency to members and donors: C-4 establishes new rights for members and donors to have more access to the proceedings of their organization. Equally interesting, NPOs will have to give consideration of new forms and classes of members/ supporters. Moreover, the new law will mean as well that NPOs will have to account for their members' new rights to be able to participate in decisions via electronic means....again emphasizing the need for more transparency.

Not being aware of these factors could put an NPO board and executive in hot water! With such broad-based impact, Bill C-4 shows the value of legislative monitoring from a professional consultant. C-4 demonstrates this case from a wide-sweeping perspective. However, each organization I encounter has a number of its own issues and challenges. More often than not, NPOs don't always have the on-staff bandwidth to be aware of every possible piece of legislation or government regulation.

However, engaging a consultant to assist in the process of monitoring, allows for identifying and prioritizing challenges and opportunities for the NPO. By doing so, organizations are given a hospitable environment to grow. Excellent information and perspective are at the heart of any successful state and local government affairs program. Anything less is a handicap.

As part of a legislative monitoring system, consultants read each regulation, bill and amendment to identify relevant client issues, avoiding the critical errors that can plague services limited to keyword searches. These professionals perform bill tracking until final disposition, providing political perspective, or “outlook,” for each piece of proposed legislation.

Generally, legislative monitoring involves identifying the:

  • Bill Sponsor (name and party affiliation)

  • Summary of Major Provisions (emphasizing provisions of interest to the client)

  • Status (report of past and upcoming actions)

  • Outlook (a political assessment)

  • Hyperlink to the full text of Bills/Amendments (when available)

Other aspects can be identified as well depending on an organization's needs
Mark Buzan is Principal of Action Strategies, a GR Consultancy for non-profits. If you have questions on how Bill C-4 impacts on your organization, please contact him. Equally, drop him a line if you feel your organization could benefit from legislative monitoring services. Subscribe now to his Lobbying tips newsletter at www.actionstrategies.ca

1 comment:

tendance Robes said...

always moderately amazing of those would-be brides to vintage wedding dress help you continue to pick out extra dress as soon as very first dress v-neck wedding dress is proven to be steep. Consistently, a whole wedding party dress