New code of governance for charities to start from 2018

New code of governance for charities to start from 2018

One of the changes includes requiring charities to disclose the reasons for retaining board members who have served for more than 10 consecutive years, says the Charity Council.

File photo from March 20, 2010 at the Hampshire hotel in Ballito, South Africa

SINGAPORE: Come 2018, charities and institutions of a public character (IPCs) will have to adhere to a new code of governance, the Charity Council said on Thursday (Apr 6).

The new guideline will require these organisations to disclose the reasons for retaining board members who have served for more than 10 consecutive years, and for the definition of charity size to be determined by gross annual receipts or total expenditure, whichever is higher, in each of its two immediate preceding financial years, its press release said.

The new code will also waive the Governance Evaluation Checklist requirement for small charities that have gross annual receipts or total expenditure of less than S$50,000, as well as elevate the disclosure of information on board members, it added.

On board members' term limits, the council said it intends to implement the 10-year term limit requirement in the future. "In the interim, the council will be working with partners, such as the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership (CNPL) and Social Service Institute (SSI), to build capacity and capability of the volunteers and prepare the ground for the future implementation," it said.

The new code aims to strengthen the governance practices of charities in Singapore, and enable them to be more transparent and accountable, the council said.

It said four dialogue sessions were held with more than 183 charities and IPCs across various sectors, followed by a four-week long public consultation, before the final version was decided. This is the second refinement of the code, following the first exercise in 2010.

In November 2007, the Charity Council introduced the Code of Governance for the charity sector, and it serves as a best practices guide for charities and IPCs to improve their effectiveness, transparency and public accountability.

Source: CNA/kk

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