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Question

116. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out the number of staff assigned to the regulator's office at the time of its establishment; the number of staff currently employed there; if any additional staff are scheduled for appointment, and when they will be assigned; if she is satisfied that the regulator's office has sufficient legal and other expertise to undertake its work effectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22654/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I understand that the Deputy's Question relates to the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA). The aim of the Charities Regulatory Authority, established on 16 October 2014 under the provisions of the Charities Act 2009, is to provide for better regulation of charitable organisations through a framework of registration, regulation and support. Since its establishment, the Authority has:
- published a Register of Charities, containing information on some 8,500 CHY charities with tax exemption status;
- made contact with all charities on the register requesting them to supply additional information and legal documentation required to support their registered status;
- developed an online system for organisations to apply for inclusion in the Register of Charities; and
- provided – through its website and active programme of stakeholder engagement - extensive information to the charities sector on their obligations and duties under the new regulatory regime.
I am informed that at the time of its establishment in October 2014 the CRA had eleven staff. Sanction was granted recently for new staff members who are currently being put in place and this will bring the total staffing complement up to 20 and support the Authority in carrying out its statutory functions. Work is progressing on plans to seek sanction for further recruitment of specialist resources for the Authority.