Consultation on Implementation of Charities Act (2009)
A small number of representative bodies (including Business to Arts) met with the Department of Justice & Equality and ICTR on 23 January 2013 for a briefing to discuss the announced ‘Consultation on Implementation of the Charities Act’.
An 8 week consultation period (closing on 20 March) for submissions from interested parties was announced on the same day. The consultation document is available at http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/CharitiesConsult?OpenForm and those responding are encouraged to make their submissions online. Submissions will be made public after the consultation period has closed. A summary and response will be compiled and published by the Department.
Once Business to Arts have assessed the document and consulted with the Development Managers’ Forum, we will seek views from our affiliated arts organisations (that are registered charities or are interested in achieving charitable status) on its content.
Both ICTR (in association with representative bodies) and the Department of Justice will host an information briefing on the Implementation of the Charities Act in February 2013.
Sheila Norden of ICTR has provided a brief summary of the content. The consultation focuses on three key areas:
- The setting up of a Charities Regulatory Authority and what the key priorities should be in the first phase given budgetary constraints of Government.
- The establishment of a Register of Charities including how this is likely to be used and what additional information might be included. Charities will be required to pay an annual registration fee and this section seeks views on a proposed fee structure based on gross annual income categorised into five bands with fees ranging from a token fee in band 1 (e.g. €10) to a maximum of €500 in band 5.
- Financial and Activity Reporting by Registered Charities to the Charities Regulatory Authority. This section sets out the financial reporting requirements under the Charities Act for different types and sizes of charities. Views are sought on the proposed thresholds for different levels of reporting and independent scrutiny and also on what additional financial information should be required from charities by the Authority and in what format. Incorporated charities will continue to make their annual returns with annual accounts to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) which will pass them on to the Charity Regulatory Authority (CRA) except where a charity is not required by the CRO to attach annual accounts in which case they will be required to attach them to the Annual Activity Report to the CRA. All charities will be required to submit an annual Activity Report to the CRA and views are sought on the format and content of this report.
Business to Arts encourages all arts organisations that are registered charities to make a submission.