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. Sections that it was possible to commence in advance of the establishment of the Charities Regulatory Authority, as provided for under the Act, have been commenced. The remainder will be commenced following the establishment of the Authority.
The Deputy will appreciate that the full implementation of the Charities Act, including the establishment of a Charities Regulatory Authority, had to be examined in the context of the comprehensive review of expenditure, which took place in 2011. Arising from this review, I delayed bringing this legislation into force as we considered how best to achieve the objectives of the Act in a context of Government spending reductions. It remains an objective of the Government to strengthen the regulation of the sector in effective and proportionate ways.
To advance this, a public and stakeholder consultation is being conducted by my Department on the implementation of the Charities Act and the establishment of a register of charities. Issues covered in the consultation paper include the establishment of a Charities Regulatory Authority; the statutory registration of charities and granting of charitable status; and reporting requirements for registered charities. Submissions should be made at www.justice.ie/en/JELR/CharitiesConsult?OpenForm.
The consultation period will run until 20 March 2013.