- Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the new independent regulator of Northern Ireland charities.
Aims of the Commmission
The stated vision of the Commission is for "a dynamic and well governed charities sector in which the public has confidence, underpinned by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland's effective delivery of its regulatory and advisory role".
The values of the Commission are:
The Commission is a non-departmental public body, supported by the Department for Social Development. Its main role is to register and regulate the estimated 7,000-10,000 charities working within Northern Ireland. The Charities Act (NI) 2008 created the Charity Commission and the same Act sets out its powers.
The regulation and registration of charities in Northern Ireland will bring the region into line with other parts of the United Kingdom. The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) operate similarly in their respective jurisdictions.
The registration process for charities will begin when the Charities Act (NI) 2008 is amended by the Department for Social Development. This process is expected to happen at some stage during 2012. Currently however, an important exercisable power of the Commission is its ability to investigate the affairs of charities when abuse or harm is suspected.
The Charity Commission has looked into numerous charities since the commencement of investigatory powers in February 2011. The investigations have concerned a wide spectrum of charities. Many of these investigations have been closed with recommendations being made on simple good governance issues, while other cases are more serious in nature and investigations remain live.
Chief Executive and Board
The first Chief Executive of the Commission is Frances McCandless who was appointed to the post in April 2010. Frances McCandless has had a influential career in the voluntary and community sector, particularly with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) as Director of Policy.
Tom McGrath CBE is Chief Charity Commissioner with a five year term of office. Tom has worked as Regional Director for Marsh Ltd. for 34 years. He was previously Chair of the NI Tourist Board, the NI Business Education Trust and the George Best Memorial Trust.
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