On 30th June, our Head of Recruitment, Fergal O’Sullivan attended a briefing on the Charities Amendment Bill, jointly hosted by The Wheel and Charities Institute Ireland.
The Charities Amendment Bill is to provide a number of amendments to the Charities Act 2009. The proposed amendments aim to improve the ability of the Charities Regulator to conduct its statutory functions, ensuring more proportionate regulation leading to greater public trust and confidence in the charities sector. The full 98-page General Scheme can be found here.
Key Points from Webinar
During the webinar, there was an informative discussion on some interesting proposed changes, including:
- Advancement of Human Rights is finally set to become a charitable purpose under Head 4 of the Bill.
- The definition of “charity trustee” will be amended to exclude company secretaries or secretaries to the board who hold no other office in the charity.
- Charity SORP accounting standards are now going to be required by the CRA, but the exemption to allow for simplified accounts will now apply to those with income less than €250,000 (previously €100,000).
- The CRA will need to be notified in advance, and approve of any changes, to an organisation’s Constitution.
- The CRA will also get powers to sanction organisations without having to reference to a court.
- There are some unclear requirements for Trustees to report “significant events” without saying what these might be, which many on the webinar feared could deter people from becoming Trustees.