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Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008

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6.The current framework for the regulation of charities in Northern Ireland does not provide for any form of local registration and only makes limited provisions for enforcement generally. The objective is to introduce an integrated system of registration and regulation (including control of charitable, philanthropic or benevolent fund-raising) as well as supervision and support of registered charities. The aim of these proposed changes will be to provide a structure and process through which charities can demonstrate their contribution to society, the public can be assured regarding how charities are spending any donations and government can assist in the better governance of the charity sector.

7.The Department concluded that the need for a regulatory structure to provide reassurance to the public about how charities manage their affairs, undertake collections and dispose of donations ruled out maintaining the status quo as a viable option. The possibility of extending the remit of the Charity Commission for England and Wales had certain advantages; however, it would not have delivered the objectives set out by the Advisory Panel in relation to the adoption of a public benefit test and the need to apply different procedures in relation to registration and financial controls. It was determined, therefore, that the establishment of an independent Charities Commission that would be able to respond to the needs of the local charity sector presented the best solution for Northern Ireland.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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