Legislation to lift audit burden from community and voluntary sector

The Department of Jobs and Innovation is planning to greatly reduce the paperwork legally required by voluntary groups under the new Companies Bill and intends to exempt charitable organisations from the stringent audit requirements imposed on private companies, according to Westport Labour councillor Keith Martin.

“This is good news for people who run our sports clubs, help our youth, care for the vulnerable, and generally make our communities better places to live, and who shouldn’t be unnecessarily burdened with high cost legal and financial requirements. They need every cent they have for the valuable work they do,” said Cllr Martin.

The new Companies Bill, which is expected later this year, will introduce a new type of default private company to cover the charity and voluntary sector, known as a CLS or private company limited by shares.

“The changes will provide a number of tangible benefits aimed at reducing the administrative burden on our voluntary groups. The lengthy and complex legal documents needed to set up other companies will no longer be required. These new CLS companies can be incorporated using a single document possibly a page long.

“In short it will be a great deal easier and less expensive for the voluntary sector to start, use, and run such a company. It is a move that will benefit not just community groups but society as a whole,” Cllr Martin concluded.

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