A draft Charities Law has been launched today for consultation by the Chief Minister’s Department in collaboration with the Jersey Voluntary and Community Sector Partnership (JVCS).
The draft law sets out a modern, fit-for-purpose definition of charity and will also:
- Establish a charity commissioner, who will determine which organisations are charities and entitled to access charitable tax benefits
- Sets up a public register of charities and defines the duties of people who run charities, improving transparency and supporting high standards of management.
Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, said: “The relationship between charities and the public they serve is unique. Charities are often dependent on the trust, generosity and confidence of Islanders who, in turn, can be dependent on the dedication and determination of those same charities. This law is about protecting and enhancing that relationship.”
The draft law has already been subject to an initial consultation period. In 2013 Islanders were asked whether Jersey needed a Charities Law. 96% of respondents supported the need for a new legal definition of charities and 95% agreed that only publically registered charities should be able to make public financial appeals.
“Having consulted people about the principle of whether or not we needed a charities law, we now want to know what Islanders think about the detail of that draft law,” said Senator Routier.
The Honorary Chairman of the JVCS, Jim Hopley, said: “We welcome the development of a Charities Law in Jersey, and are supportive of proposals contained in the draft law. We believe it will help protect and enhance public trust in charities, enabling them to flourish and continue their vital work.
“A significant number people involved with local charities shared their views and contributed real expertise as part of the consultation process that took place last summer. We would encourage them to get involved again, to help shape this law and ensure it is right for our Island.”
A copy of the draft law can be downloaded from www.gov.je/consult. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 1 May 2014.
A series of public meetings have been arranged to discuss the draft law. These meetings are taking place between Wednesday 2 April and Thursday 10 April 2014. Details can be found on www.gov.je/consult.