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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Concerns and decisions

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has statutory objectives to ensure trustees comply with their legal obligations in managing charities, and to increase public trust and confidence in charities. We also have a statutory function to identify and investigate apparent misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of charities, and to take remedial or protective action. We will do this in a number of ways through our regulatory and compliance work.

The vast majority of charities encounter few problems. However, where there is a serious threat or risk to a charity’s beneficiaries, services or assets we can help resolve this by either providing regulatory advice and guidance to the trustees or, where necessary, using our legal powers to help the charity and its trustees get back on track.

This section will set out how and when we will act, and what approach we will take as we gradually assume the regulatory powers set out in the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

It will also explain when and how you should report a concern about a charity to us, what action we will take if the concern is serious and how we will carry out investigations and report on action we have taken in such cases. This includes:

Our aim is to provide the best possible regulation of charities to increase their effectiveness and levels of public confidence in them.

Like most modern regulators, we will take a risk-based and proportionate approach to regulating charities. This means targeting our help and resources at the highest risks to charities' beneficiaries, services and assets and where we think our intervention will have the greatest impact.

Regulatory pyramid

While we may take reasonable steps to keep you informed about the progress of your concern in a timely manner, the Commission’s regulatory approach means that the timeliness of concerns and investigations is determined by our modern regulatory approach and with an overall view of the risk posed to charities. 

We also follow the principles of best regulatory practice, ensuring our actions are proportionate, accountable, consistent, transparent and targeted.