Charities Bill Briefing July07


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Charities Bill Briefing July07

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