Dáil Éireann - Volume 654 - 15 May, 2008
Written Answers. - Charities Legislation.
Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he has investigated the practice of businesses or individuals, who posing as charities, engage in the collecting of clothes in view of the anti-social practices of some of these and their negative impact on legitimate charities such as Enable Ireland and Oxfam; if he is proposing steps for his Department to address the issue; and if he has approached other relevant Ministers to discuss the issue. [18861/08]
Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív
Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: I am well aware that the practice of collecting goods, and particularly clothing, door-to-door, purportedly for charitable purposes, is an issue of concern both to genuine charities and to the general public. However, I should point out that I have no statutory power to regulate the hours that leaflets and other items may be delivered to households in the context of this practice.
Measures in the Charities Bill 2007, which completed Committee Stage in Dáil Éireann earlier this year, will lead to increased transparency in relation to the operations of charities and should help to ensure that the public will be able to make more informed decisions about the organisations to which they choose to donate.
At the present time, the activities of businesses and individuals purporting to collect goods for charitable purposes are unregulated. However, it will be mandatory under the Charities Bill for a charity wishing to operate in the State to register with the proposed Charities Regulatory Authority. The Bill also provides that charities on the register must state they are so registered in all public documents or such other publications as may be prescribed by regulations. It will be within the remit of the Regulatory Authority to take steps to ensure that members of the public will be easily able to check the charitable bona fides of bodies engaged in the collecting of clothes.
My Department has been engaged in further consultation with the Attorney General’s Office regarding this matter and, if it is possible to enhance the relevant provisions of the Bill on the basis of legal advice available to me, I will be happy to put down an appropriate amendment at Report Stage.
Dáil Éireann 654 Written Answers. Charities Legislation.