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Charities Commissioners

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the Northern Ireland Charities Commissioners office to be fully functional. (87127)

On 17 July I launched a public consultation about proposed new Northern Ireland charities legislation which will, inter alia, set up a Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. The 12 week consultation process will close on 13 October 2006. Following this the responses will be considered and where feasible account will be taken of these but we must ensure that we put in place adequate regulation and governance arrangements.

It is then the intention to present the draft Order for consideration by Parliament in November 2006. It is intended subject to the will of Parliament:

to have legislation approved early in 2007;

to enable the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland to be established by mid-2007;and

to enable the Northern Ireland Register of Charities to reach initial operational capability by end-2007.