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2 News Charities Regulatory Authority to go ahead

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, informed the Dail that the government had approved his proposals to proceed with an independent Charities Regulatory Authority (Dail Eireann, Debates, 18th July 2013, Q500 [page ref. not yet available].    According to the minister, the authority would be an independent body under the Department of Justice and Equality.  It would have a staff of approximately 20.  It was envisaged that the board of the new authority would be designated later this year, so that it could come into formal operation in 2014.  A call for expressions of interest from suitably qualified persons who wished to be considered for appointment to the board would be sent from his department in the coming months.  To ensure the smooth transfer of functions of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland to the new authority, it ws envisaged that a number of serving commissioners would also be appointed to the board of the new authority.  It was intended that registered charities themselves would be asked to meet some of the cost of their regulation through payment of a modest annual registration fee.  This was provided for in the Charities Act.  He had consulted with the charity sector on the fee structure to be adopted.  This way, the regulation of the sector would in time become largely self-financing.  The outcome of the public consultation on charities regulation carried out by his department earlier this year had been published on the department’s website.

> Meantime, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan responded to Terence Flanagan (ind, Dublin NE) who asked whether he would establish a grant scheme to assist voluntary organizations to comply with government regulation, such as mandatory training and vetting (Dail Eireann, Debates, 10th July 2013, 664).   The minister told him that there were no such plans.