Make clear how charities must handle funds

Singapore's Charities Act and Societies Act deal with the management of public donations or funds ("Sound church governance important" by the National Council of Churches of Singapore; Nov 4).

All Institutions of a Public Character (IPC) must comply with these two Acts and the Code of Governance for Charities and IPCs.

The board of each IPC must approve all public donations, loans or deposits made to external parties.

Fundamentally, all public funds should be kept and used within Singapore, and exclusively for charitable purposes or for the substantial benefit of the community in Singapore.

More importantly, there should be rules about how public funds should be distributed when an entity is dissolved.

I hope that IPCs will ensure that their Constitution requires that when an IPC is dissolved, any remaining funds and assets can be given to other Singapore-based charitable groups with similar objectives.

It must be made clear that an IPC should not be dissolved if the remaining funds and assets are distributed to its members and not for the benefit of the community in Singapore.

This goes against charitable intentions.

Tan Kok Tim