Half–day conference on the Charities Bill (Northern Ireland)

Tuesday March 5th 2013

Charities conference

A half–day conference on the Charities Bill (Northern Ireland) will take place at the Law Society of Northern Ireland offices in Belfast on Wednesday March 20.

The conference will clarify requirements for Charity Registration, Public Benefit and the role of Charity Commission of Northern Ireland as regulator. It will include a discussion on the future of charitable accounting and reporting practice.

The conference is aimed at charitable organisations, legal professionals, finance and accounting organisations. To reserve a place, please register online here.

Standard fee: £105.00 + VAT @ 20% = £126.00 Voluntary organisation fee: £75.00 + VAT @ 20% = £90.00

To see the full conference programme, please click here.

This seminar will be of relevance to all organisations who wish to be knowledgeable and prepared for forthcoming charity registration. Chaired by BBC broadcaster William Crawley and led by Frances McCandless, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland this conference will offer delegates an opportunity to engage on the Commission’s public benefit and registration consultation.

Panel discussion will also focus on the new Public Benefits Test and how regulation will affect the governance of organisations operating for a charitable purpose in Northern Ireland.

It will assess the possible models, impact and implications for organisations both large and small, of potential new accounting and reporting practices.

Led by Frances McCandless, senior officials from the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, DSD and NICVA, and experts in Charity Law (Edwards & Co) and Accounting (Finnegan Gibson) this seminar will provide an opportunity for delegates to understand and prepare for the registration process. Specifically:
• Operating for public benefit
• How accounting and reporting practices will be impacted
• Charity legal requirements and obligations (including governing documents)

Deputy Secretary in the Department for Social Development Jenny Pyper will deliver the keynote address on the changes to the definition of public benefit, and the rationale for introducing charity registration and regulation to Northern Ireland.

DSD official Roy McGivern will join the panel on the application and intent of the legislation.

Background: In January 2013 the Charities Bill (2012) NI was given Royal Assent, clarifying the definition of public benefit and charitable purpose in its application to the public benefit test carried out by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI).

The passing of the Bill paves the way for the introduction of charity registration and the full regulatory authority of CCNI envisaged under the Charities Bill (2008) NI.

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland will now consult on two documents, its Public Benefit Guidance and Registration Guidance, before requiring all organisations wishing to be considered a charity to register with them. This will introduce full regulation of the charitable sector in Northern Ireland, for the first time.

The conference takes place at the Law Society of Northern Ireland, 96 Victoria Street, Belfast from 9am until 2pm on Wednesday March 20.

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