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    Sep 20, 2016

    Proposals to make charities more accountable to public

    CHARITIES should disclose the information of their board members - including their attendance at board meetings, their pay and when they were appointed.

    They should also declare the pay packet for each of their three highest-paid staff, if the person's pay exceeds $100,000 a year.

    These guidelines - some of which already apply to larger charities - will be extended to cover almost all charities, under proposed changes to the code of governance for the charity sector.

    Small charities with annual receipts or total expenditure of less than $50,000 will be exempt from these, as well as from submitting online checklists that evaluate their governance.

    Such charities usually have fewer staff and more resource constraints, and find it tougher to meet the guidelines.

    They make up about 10 per cent of the more than 2,000 charities in Singapore.

    The Charity Council is asking the public for feedback on the proposed changes, and the consultation paper can be read online from today.

    The council promotes good governance in the sector and advises the Commissioner of Charities on regulatory issues.

    The code of governance is a best practices guide for charities to improve their transparency and public accountability.

    The latest refined code is expected to be launched early next year.

    The guidelines are tiered, depending on the charity's financial size and status as an Institution of a Public Character (IPC).

    In giving the rationale for extending some guidelines to mid-size charities, the council said: "Charities are public interest entities and receive tax exemption on their income.

    "Therefore, there is a greater need for transparency and accountability to the public for all charities to whom the code applies."

    It also noted that key decisions are made at board meetings and it wants to encourage regular attendance at the meetings, even if this is done via tele-conferencing.

    The public have till Oct 18 to send feedback on the changes to charity_council_sec

    The consultation paper

    is available on