Charities regulator will be set up in shadow format in first half of next year
As many as 8,000 charities are concerned
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
A new charities regulator will be set up in shadow format in the first half of next year before it is put in place permanently, the Department of Justice has said.
The long-awaited regulator will be established under legislation enacted in 2009. As many as 8,000 charities are concerned.
The development comes amid considerable Government disquiet at the disclosure that public donations were used to top up the salaries of senior executives at the Central Remedial Clinic. There is further concern in the sector itself that the affair could undermine confidence in other charities.
Asked if Minister for Justice Alan Shatter or the Government were likely to expedite the process, the department said in a statement that there were “various administrative steps” to be executed.
“We are progressing the establishment of the Charities Regulatory Authority as rapidly as we can,” it said.
The new authority will maintain a register of charitable bodies and ensure accountability to donors and the public. It will have the power to carry out investigations under the 2009 Act and to ensure charities comply with their own rules.
The aim is to foster public trust and confidence in charities by way of measures to enhance transparency, accountability and governance generally. “It is envisaged that the authority will be established in shadow form in the first half of 2014 to enable it to put in place the necessary systems required for it to carry out its statutory functions under the Charities Act,” the department said.
The body will then be established by ministerial order. The department said this would be done next year.