The Charity Act 2009 is aimed at regulating the charity industry and making it more accountable.
What is in law?
Since it was first drafted, only two sections have being passed into law. These are:
If, in any proceedings brought against a charity trustee for breach of trust, it appears to the court hearing the case that the charity trustee is or may be liable in respect of the breach of trust but that he or she acted honestly and reasonably and that having regard to all of the circumstances of the case he or she ought fairly to be excused for the breach of trust, the court may relieve him or her in whole or in part from his or her liability on such terms as the court deems appropriate.
This basically means that if you are a trustee of a charity and act in an honest and reasonable way, than you will be excused for any breach of trust.
A person who sells a Mass card other than pursuant to an arrangement with a recognised person shall be guilty of an offence.
Full details on Section 99 - click here.
When will the rest of the Act become law?
There was a consultation in mid March between the various stakeholders. It is anticipated that a timeline for passing the Act into law will be announced in the second half of the year. Thereafter, the more impactful parts of the law will be passed first.
So what does the rest of the Act mean for a charity?
The biggest impact is that all charities will need to be registered with a new Charity Regulator. This register will be open to the public and will include certain documents relating to the charity.
Here are some fact sheets on the Charities Act:
Grant Thornton Fact Sheet
The Wheel Fact Sheet
ICTR Fact Sheet
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