Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (440)

Jerry Buttimer


440. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on the commencement of the provisions of the Charities Act and the progress of a regulatory system for the charities sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30075/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Charities Act 2009 was designed to support and enhance public trust in charities by providing for the statutory registration and regulation of charities operating in Ireland by an independent Charities Regulatory Authority. The decision was taken in 2011, because of the urgent need to make savings in Government expenditure, to defer full implementation of the Charities Act. This decision was taken for financial reasons and it has remained Government policy to provide for the implementation of the Charities Act 2009.

My Department has therefore examined methods of how best to implement the Charities Act in the current financial climate. As part of this process, in January of this year I published for consultation outline proposals for implementing key provisions of the Act. The consultation document invited the views of stakeholders and members of the public on proposals for the implementation of the Act on a phased and low cost basis. I was very pleased with the outcome of this consultation. Some 160 submissions, containing much valuable feedback, were received in response to the consultation.

My Department is currently reviewing the submissions received and I look forward to publishing the results in due course and a further indication of the Government's timeframe for the introduction of an operational Charities Regulatory Authority, the creation of a statutory Register of Charities, and full implementation of the Charities Act 2009.