Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

129 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his views on the fact that a new charities Bill is long overdue; and his proposals in this regard. [3581/03]

An Agreed Programme for Government contains a commitment to bring in a comprehensive reform of the law relating to charities. The legislative reform will be advanced through a number of stages. A review of existing charity law has now been undertaken by consultants and consideration of the report is nearing completion. The White Paper on Supporting Voluntary Activity, published in 2000, provides that the community and voluntary sector will be consulted on the legislation through the implementation and advisory group established by the Government to oversee the implementation of the White Paper's recommendations. The consultants' review of charity law has been circulated to the implementation and advisory group, which is considering the report.

The key issues regarding an appropriate regulatory framework will be identified and incorporated into a consultation document. A consultation process, informed by the consultation document, will be initiated with a view to encouraging extensive public discussion on the legislative reform required. Proposals for legislative reform in relation to charities and charitable fundraising will be brought forward as soon as possible following completion of the consultation process.

Question No. 130 answered with Question No. 103.