Tuesday, 10 April 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
68. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if, in view of the transfer of responsibility for charity regulatory matters from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to his Department, he will indicate the steps he is taking to implement the recommendations of the White Paper on a framework for supporting voluntary activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10482/01]
Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): As announced in the White Paper on Supporting Voluntary Activity, my Department is to take over the responsibility for charity regulatory matters and for the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. It is expected that the order to formally effect the transfer will be signed shortly.
A White Paper implementation unit has been established in my Department to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the White Paper on Supporting Voluntary Activity, and one of its functions is to initiate and prepare the overhaul of the charities legislation. Work has begun on examining the current situation with a view to ensuring that comprehensive legislation on the regulation of charities and charitable fund-raising is produced as a priority. It is intended to consult widely on the process of developing the legislation. My Department is reviewing the requirements involved and intends to begin the consultation process in the coming months.
We have already been made aware of the wide variety of views which exist on the complicated questions involved and look forward during the consultation process to getting the widest possible input from the various interests. This is necessary to put legislation in place which is appropriate to current circumstances.
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