The Registered Organisations Commission (the ROC) is an independent statutory entity that regulates and educates registered organisations in Australia. The ROC was established in 2017 to increase financial transparency and accountability in registered organisations and consists of:
- The Registered Organisations Commissioner (the Commissioner)
- Staff assisting the Commissioner
The jurisdiction and powers of the Commissioner and of the ROC are set out in Part 3A of Chapter 11 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act).
The RO Act also outlines the responsibilities of registered organisations for matters such as record keeping, finances and elections.
The Commissioner's main function is to help registered organisations follow these requirements by:
- promoting the efficient management of organisations and high standards of accountability
- providing education, help and advice to organisations and their members
- monitoring the acts, practices and reporting obligations of organisations
- conducting inquiries and investigations into organisations
- enforcing compliance by organisations.
The Commissioner has the power to do all things necessary or convenient to perform these functions. The ROC's main function is to assist the Commissioner.
How do the ROC and the Fair Work Commission differ?
The ROC is an independent body that works closely with the Fair Work Commission (FWC). Both the ROC and the FWC assist and support registered organisations. While the ROC handles issues relating to annual and financial reporting, elections and compliance of organisations, the FWC accepts applications for registration, permits and rules.
The ROC is responsible for:
- assessing the financial reports of organisations and their branches
- assessing the annual returns of organisations and notifications of change
- assessing the disclosure statements of organisations and their branches
- arranging elections for organisations and their branches
- approving governance and compliance training for organisations
- providing education, assistance and advice to organisations on the above matters
- conducting inquiries and investigations.
In relation to organisations, the FWC is responsible for:
- registration, cancellation and amalgamation of organisations
- providing advice and assistance on applying to become a registered organisation
- making changes to an organisation’s rules
- processing right of entry and workplace health and safety permit applications
- disputes concerning agreements, permits and other industrial relations matters
- recognised state associations.