Following on from the Minister for Communities announcement of a review of charity regulation in Northern Ireland an independent panel made up of Dr Oonagh Breen, Rev Lesley Carroll and Noel Lavery has been convened to start the review process.
This review will look at the legal and regulatory framework within which the Charity Commission operates and its relationships with stakeholders. It will not be revisiting decisions made in individual cases but will be examining the legal and regulatory framework. Its output will be recommendations on changes that can be made to improve the delivery of services and operation of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland for the future.
The Review will consider a number of matters including whether every Northern Ireland charity should be registered, how the five objectives and statutory functions of the Charity Commission have been delivered to date and whether they remain fit for purpose; whether engagement with stakeholders is in accordance with best practice such as concerns about charities, FOI procedures and decision reviews. It will also look at whether the registration regime is fit for purpose and whether the requirements for s.167 institutions are fit for purpose and other approaches that could be used short of the use of a statutory inquiry as part of the regulatory framework to help resolution of concerns about charities. It will also cover the Department for Communities role in and responsibility for development, communication and delivery of the regulatory framework and with a focus on s.167 institutions provisions and Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) and formal exploration of how statutory co-operation with charity regulators in other neighbouring jurisdictions can be strengthened.
The Panel will be informed by submissions from charities, and the wider public and a number of stakeholders as the Panel decides.
An interim briefing to the Minister is expected by 4 June 2021.
Further information is available from: