Tuesday 25 July 2017

David Hall: How we can rebuild our trust in charities

The past week lays bare the risks involved with inadequate regulation, writes David Hall

CHARITY BOSS: Paul Kelly was honoured with a People of The Year award. Pic. Robbie Reynolds
CHARITY BOSS: Paul Kelly was honoured with a People of The Year award. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

David Hall

Charities are special. Society deems the work of a charity to be above ordinary commercial activity. Society has placed trust and confidence in these charities and the services they provide. Over the last week the country has been convulsed in horror, shock and anger at the catastrophic consequences of a breach of trust. This has rocked the charitable sector and the industry now faces the uncomfortable reality that public confidence is at an all-time low.

As someone who has been involved with charities for 20 years I have witnessed the excellent work they have done. The vast majority are well governed but the past week shows the risks involved in not adequately regulating the sector.

The first step has finally been taken and we have established a Charity Regulatory Authority. The recently appointed CEO John Farrelly is, I'm confident, the person to lead this important organisation and shape the regulatory landscape. Politicians in the last few days have commented on regulatory shortcomings, however, it is in their gift and only their gift to immediately effect change to the legislation.

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