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Written Answers - Charitable Organisations

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 365.  Deputy Robert Dowds Information on Robert Dowds Zoom on Robert Dowds  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he intends to force charitable organisations to publish yearly accounts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23654/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Charities Act 2009 provides for an integrated system of mandatory registration and proportionate regulation and supervision of the charities sector in Ireland. The various sections of the Charities Act are subject to implementation through commencement orders. A number of sections have already been commenced. Those sections that require charities to provide financial information to a new Charities Regulatory Authority, which will in turn make such information available to the public, have not yet been commenced.

The Deputy will appreciate that the full implementation of the Charities Act 2009 had to be examined in the context of the comprehensive review of expenditure, which took place last [437]year. Arising from this review, I took the view that it was not possible to proceed with the full implementation of the Act at this time given the likely scale of the financial and staffing resources implied, and that this should be deferred. In light of this decision, my Department is currently examining how the transparency and accountability of the charities sector may be further enhanced and supported, pending full implementation of the Charities Act 2009. One initiative which my Department has supported has been development by the charities sector itself of a set of voluntary Codes of Practice for fundraising, of which openness is a core principle. I encourage all charities to sign up to and adhere to these Codes.

With regard to relevant existing statutory requirements for financial reporting by charities, I would remind the Deputy that those charities that are companies limited by guarantee are subject to the provisions of company law and are therefore generally required to provide information to the Companies Registration Office under the Companies Acts, which can be accessed by the public.

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