Charity law is 'opportunity for transparency' in Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish Assembly should use new charities legislation to ensure greater transparency in the voluntary sector, according to the province's representative body for charity leaders.

According to Chief Officers 3rd Sector, known as CO3, the introduction of a charity commission for Northern Ireland – which forms part of the legislative proposals to be debated by the assembly later this month – would also mean the third sector could be quantified.

“A register of charities would give the number of charities, the number of employees and the asset base – it would also bring transparency to the sector,” said Majella McCloskey, director of CO3.

“We expect the assembly to see the charities legislation as an opportunity to provide legislative recognition for the important role of Northern Ireland’s charities and their work in delivering vital services at the coalface and in helping to shape better public policy.”

CO3 has 175 members that employ about 20,000 people in Northern Ireland. It is estimated that the province’s third sector has an annual turnover of £600m.

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