Updated code of governance for charities and IPCs released, to take effect from Jan 2018

The Charity Council has released a revised code of governance for charities and institutions of a public character in Singapore.
The Charity Council has released a revised code of governance for charities and institutions of a public character in Singapore.PHOTO: CHARITIES.GOV.SG
Mr Gerard Ee, chairman of Charity Council, said the council will "work closely with all charities in this journey, so that we can achieve our shared vision of a well-governed charity sector in Singapore".
Mr Gerard Ee, chairman of Charity Council, said the council will "work closely with all charities in this journey, so that we can achieve our shared vision of a well-governed charity sector in Singapore".PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Charity Council has released a revised code of governance for charities and institutions of a public character (IPCs) here, which will take effect from January next year, said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) in a release on Thursday (April 6).

Under the new code, charities that have retained any board members for more than 10 consecutive years will have to disclose their reasons for doing so.

"The intent of this guideline is to encourage charities to practice succession planning at the board level," said MCCY of the change.

Other changes to the code include:

- Pegging the definition of a charity's size to its gross annual receipts or total expenditure, whichever is higher, in the two immediate preceding financial years.

- Removing the "not applicable" option in the Governance Evaluation Checklist (GEC) used by charities and IPCs to self-evaluate their compliance to the code.

- Waiving the GEC submission requirement for small charities that have gross annual receipts or total expenditure of less than $50,000.

- Increased disclosure requirements, such as board member attendance at meetings and remuneration and information of total annual remuneration for staff.

- Introducing risk management measures.

The changes were made with the help of feedback from charities, IPCs and the public.

Mr Gerard Ee, chairman of Charity Council, expressed his appreciation to the Code of Governance Refinement Sub-Committee and its three workgroups, charity practitioners and all stakeholders who contributed to the refinement process.

Said Mr Ee: "The Charity Council will work closely with all charities in this journey, so that we can achieve our shared vision of a well-governed charity sector in Singapore.

"I hope the public will continue to support the charity sector so that charities can continue their good work and help those in need."

The revised code is available for download on the Charity Portal (www.charities.gov.sg) and the Charity Council website (www.charitycouncil.org.sg).