In its recent editorial, “Regulating charities” (15 March), the Irish Times rightly called for urgent implementation of the Charities Act, passed in 2009 but as yet inactive.
The editorial points out that the core provisions of the Act and the stricter regulatory framework that the Act promises – and that many not-for-profits in this country have called for – remain unimplemented.
But Ireland’s NGOs propose to go further than the minimum legal requirements proposed in the Charities Act. The members of Dóchas, for instance, take pride in being subject to strict Codes of Conduct that have been recognised internationally as being first class tools to ensure quality in the “charity” sector.
Ultimately, however, the best regulation will come from the general public – such as the Irish Times’ own readers.
As part of their relentless drive to improve their work, Ireland’s Development NGOs are actively inviting members of the public to comment on their performances.
For it is the informed feed-back of all those who are interested in, or affected by, the work of Ireland’s non-profits that will ensure that they pass the real quality test for any charity: whether they are effective at addressing the real, long-term needs of the people they intend to serve.
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