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Dialogue with voluntary and community sector

The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, told Jonathan O’Brien (SF, Cork NC) that her department was seeking to develop a process of structured dialogue with 17 members of the voluntary and community pillar (Dail Eireann, Debates, 14th April 2011, 287).  It was proposed to do so initially on a bilateral basis and, subject to good progress, other departments would be invited to engage on cross-cutting issues.  A draft proposal had been circulated to the pillar.  She added that, in the case of the Charities Act and its requirements for financial and activity reporting, she hoped to initiate a public consultation process in the coming months.  Guiding principles for fundraising had already been produced and disseminated.  A monitoring group was also being established to follow adherence to the codes and to review operations over three years.

Asked by Terence Flanagan (FG, Dublin NE) about the progress of the Charities Act, the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs Frances Fitzgerald told him that work was progressing  on the information on existing organizations that would be published on establishment day, over 7,000 organizations being involved.  Her department was providing funding for the development of a comprehensive database and website for all not-for-profit entities.  A public consultation process would be initiated over the coming months on the financial and activity reporting that would be required and it would be carried out parallel to a broader review of Generally Agreed Accounting Principles (GAAP), currently being undertaken by the Accountancy Standards Board (Dail Eireann, 13th April 2011, 187).

> Government support for active citizenship: Dail Eireann, Debates, 14th April 2011, 284.