Commission welcomes Charities Bill first legislative step

02 July 2012

The Charity Commission has welcomed the introduction of the Charities Bill into the Assembly, a Bill which will amend provisions of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

The introduction of the Bill is the first step in rectifying the legislative issue that has prevented the Commission putting together a public register of charities.

The Bill is in keeping with the preferred solution suggested by the Commission when the issue was referred back to the Department for Social Development in June 2010.

Following the summer recess, the legislative process will continue and the Bill should be passed by the Assembly in the autumn of 2012. Once this happens the Commission must consult on our public benefit guidance; this should happen early in 2013.

The Commission plan to commence registration in the autumn of 2013. It is important to note that registration will not happen overnight. Registering the estimated 7,000-12,000 Northern Ireland charities will be a managed process.

These dates are also a best guess and depend on the Bill’s pace of progress through the Assembly.

You should continue to consult this website to keep up to date with developments or why not follow us on Twitter for key updates. We will post registration information as soon as it is available.

The Northern Ireland Assembly website will also provide information on the progression of the Bill:  You can also follow us on Twitter for updates on all aspects of our work.


Notes to editors:

    1. It was originally planned that charity registration would begin at the end of June 2010. However as a result of the public consultation and legal advice on the robustness of the definition of a charity, the Commission referred the legislation back to the Department for Social Development in June 2010. The Department’s review concerned the technical aspects of the legislation governing the public benefit requirement.
    2. When the Bill is passed by the Assembly the Commission can publish its Public Benefit Guidance and registration can begin.

Media Contact:

Sinead Glackin, Communications Officer

Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
257 Lough Road
BT66 6NQ

028 3832 0220

Mobile: 07827338978

Fax: 028 3834 5943

TextPhone: 028 3834 7639

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