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Charities Bill Briefing July07
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Charities Bill Briefing July07

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  • 1. The Charities Bill 2007 information and consultation 2007 The Wheel, 10 Grattan Crescent, Inchicore, Dublin 8. www.wheel.ie info@wheel.ie
  • 2. Some Clarifications
    • what organisations will the Act apply to?
    • difference between charities and other community and voluntary organisations
    • not law yet! Not enacted legislation – only a Bill!
    • trustees and directors – persons who control an organisation
    • the legislative process: when?
    • we are all wearing our “charity” hats today
      • what is best for our organisations ?
    The Wheel, 10 Grattan Crescent, Inchicore, Dublin 8. www.wheel.ie info@wheel.ie
  • 3. the Charities Bill will provide for:
    • a charity regulator
    • a register of charities - all charities operating in the state must register
    • a definition of charitable purposes
    • annual activity/financial reporting by charities
    • a new law on fund-raising - to regulate non-cash collections
    • clear duties attaching to trustees and employees of charities (whistleblowing)
    The Wheel, 10 Grattan Crescent, Inchicore, Dublin 8. www.wheel.ie info@wheel.ie
  • 4.
    • establishment of a charity appeals tribunal
    • establishment of consultative panels
    • powers of investigation
    • fines for non-compliance
    The Wheel, 10 Grattan Crescent, Inchicore, Dublin 8. www.wheel.ie info@wheel.ie
  • 5. how will the system work ?
    • must register if you want to refer to yourself as a charity or fundraise for a charity
  • 6. registering
    • two-stage test
      • exist for a charitable purpose
            • and
      • provide a public benefit
        • must not be an excluded body
          • trade union, chamber of commerce…
          • OR
          • “ a body, the primary purpose of which is to promote a political party, candidate or cause”
  • 7. charitable purposes
    • prevention of poverty
    • advancement of education
    • advancement of religion
    • other purposes beneficial to community
      • community welfare, community development, civic responsibility, voluntary work, conflict resolution, religious or racial harmony, protection of natural environment, suffering of animals, arts, culture, heritage, sciences
      • No mention of promotion of human rights, social inclusion (these WERE included in the General Scheme)
  • 8. information needed to register
    • a constitution
    • names and details of trustees
    • fundraising plans
    • activity plans re charitable purposes
    • information on risk assessment activity
    • financial accounts for last three years and bank details
    • Register will be open to the public
  • 9. apart from operating the register, what else will the regulator do?
    • purpose: to increase public trust and confidence in the administration and management of charities
      • Should it not really be “to protect the public interest in charities”
    • To promote/monitor compliance with act
    • To promote the effective use of the property of charities
    • To ensure the accountability of charities to donors, beneficiaries and the public
    • To encourage and facilitate the better administration of charities…
  • 10. what will happen when registered?
    • submit annual returns
      • annual report
      • audited accounts OR examined accounts if income less that €100k per year
    • regulation of fundraising activity:
    • new laws to define and deal with “non-cash collections”
      • three elements to proposed system
        • permits from Gardai
        • registration with regulator
        • adherence to Codes of Good Practice on operational aspects
        • www.ictr.ie
  • 11. duties of trustees
      • Bill places a duty on trustees to ensure they (and their colleague trustees) are qualified to act as a trustee (no duty on regulator)
        • no bankrupts, no people making composition with creditors, no companies being wound-up….
        • regulator will keep a list of people who were trustees but who have been disqualified
        • duty on other trustees and managers/people with responsibility to ensure they are not “acting under the direction of a disqualified person”
        • protection for whistleblowers
  • 12. other issues / omissions
    • no general duty-of-care that would apply to Trustees
    • no power to exonerate a charity trustee from personal liability
    • no provision of a legal structure for charities
    • no provision of default administrative powers for charities
    • no provision to permit the remuneration of Trustees for doing work that is NOT related to performing their role as Trustees
    • Bill must
      • protect the identity and independence of charities
      • minimise dual reporting for charities that are companies
      • be accompanied by sufficient and appropriate resources to enable the sector to not just cope, but thrive, in a regulated environment
      • Lots more at www.wheel.ie
      • Contact ivan at ivan@wheel.ie

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