Over 25% of charities yet to file annual report with regulator

Charities Regulator to pursue those who missed deadline

The Charities Regulator registration system experienced intermittent problems at the end of  October. Collection of charity collection boxes. Photograph: Peter Dazeley/Getty

The Charities Regulator registration system experienced intermittent problems at the end of October. Collection of charity collection boxes. Photograph: Peter Dazeley/Getty

 

More than a quarter of charities have yet to file their annual reports with the Charities Regulator.

Of the 5,694 charities due to file a 2016 annual report by October 31st, 72 per cent, 4,114, have so far done so.

The regulator said it will now commence a process to pursue those who have missed the deadline, with automated emails being issued every seven days.

“If the organisation has still failed to file its annual report 90 days after the deadline, a registered letter is sent as part of an escalated process which could ultimately lead to a charity being de-registered,” a spokesman for the Charities Regulator said.

Some 87 per cent of registered Irish charities filed their annual reports last year while the regulator says it is “taking steps to pursue the remaining organisations”.

“The Charities Regulator’s registration system experienced intermittent problems between October 26th and 30th which meant some charities had difficulty filing their annual reports,” the spokesman added.

Charities have 10 months to file their annual report after their financial year has ended each December.

Separately, the regulator has recently begun a number of public consultation meetings to examine issues such as governance responsibility, monitoring, governance code and guidelines.

It has established a panel to make proposals for the governance of charities and to support trustees in their duties.

A public meeting was held in Cork last Wednesday with others due in Galway and Dublin later this month. The regulator has launched an online questionnaire for those looking to share their views and is also accepting written submissions.

“The Charities Regulator is seeking the opinion of charities trustees, their staff, volunteers, service users, donors and funders, for their input on an important piece of work currently being undertaken,” chief executive John Farrelly said.

Among the questions raised are whether there is a need for a governance code specific to all registered Irish charities operating in the State, whether there should be “reasonable checks” on a person’s suitability to be a charity trustee and if there should be a maximum term allowable for charity trustees.

“The public’s opinion on these key issues is important and I would urge everyone who has an interest in charities and the valuable work that they do, to take this opportunity to share their views with us,” Mr Farrelly said.