Commission takes action on defaulters
Over 100 charity trustees have been ordered by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland to submit their charity’s accounts and reports – or face the consequences.
Under the law, all registered charities are required to submit their annual accounts and reports to the Commission, beginning with the charity’s first full financial year after registration.
When a charity submits the required accounts and reports by deadline, it is noted as being “up to date”, and the accounts are also made public on the register of charities, supporting a new era of openness and transparency within the charity sector.
However, not submitting the information on time can have a reputational impact – where a charity has submitted late or has gone into default (failed to submit), that is clearly marked on the charity’s register entry. Remaining in default can also flag the charity up as a concern to the Commission’s monitoring and compliance team, which may lead to further action – as in this case.
Last month (20 January 2020) 115 charity trustees, representing 28 charities that have failed to submit their accounts to the Commission, were issued with an order requiring them to remedy this default and submit their accounts to the Commission by 17 February 2020.
Failure to comply with the orders will result in further action being taken by the Commission, which may include enforcement proceedings being brought before the High Court.
Myles McKeown, the Commission’s Head of Compliance & Enquiries said: “The public want, and deserve, transparent, accountable charities in which they can have trust and confidence. Any charity not filing the required financial information by deadline is failing to deliver that – and they are running the risk of undermining public confidence not only in their own charities but in the charity sector as a whole.
“It is the collective responsibility of every charity trustee to ensure the charity’s annual return, including the annual accounts and trustees’ report for the financial year, are submitted to the Commission on time and in the correct format.
“The orders issued to charity trustees are just the beginning of a plan of action to ensure that charity trustees comply with their legal accounting and reporting requirements. All trustees should review their charity’s details on the register of charities to ensure that they are not in default, and take immediate action if they are,” Mr McKeown concluded.
The 28 charities, which have been in default for over 500 days, are:
• You Are Not Alone Kilkeel (102350)
• Truffle Sky Old English Sheepdog Rescue
• St Anne's Support Group (102025)
• Rising Sons Of The Valley Flute Band (102640)
• Rags for Charity (101145)
• Pure Actions Ltd (100230)
• Phoebe Lyle Trust (103216)
• Newtownabbey Kickers (101379
• Magheradroll Rainbows (104475)
• Luke Hope for Life (102207)
• Loughside Football Club (102323)
• Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Northern Ireland (100746)
• John Carey's Charity (100620)
• Errigal Amateur Boxing Club (102694)
• Eastside Amateur Boxing Club (100265)
• Coleraine Ulster Scots Regeneration Group (102814)
• Bendooragh Community Association (103790)
• Bawn Youth Club (102944)
• Bawn Silver Band (102943)
• Aughnagurgan Rural Development Association (102507)
• Annahoe Historical, Cultural and Sports Society (102693)
• Access International (100461)
• 47th Belfast Rainbows (104626)
• 47th Belfast Guides (104628)
• 47th Belfast Brownies (104627)
• 1st Richhill Scout Group (104081)
• 1st Comber Scout Group (104076)
• 1st Aghadowey Scout Group (100256)
For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on tel: 028 3832 0169 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.
A non-departmental public body, the Commission is sponsored by the Department for Communities and has a number of legal functions where it uses powers similar to those of the High Court.