20 March 2017
The recruitment has started for Jersey’s first independent Charity Commissioner.
The Commissioner will be responsible for determining which organisations are charities, registering those charities and ensuring that they meet their legal requirements. His or her initial work will be to establish the publicly accessible charity register, which is planned to go live during the first half of 2018. The aim is to promote public confidence in the charitable sector, in order to help it develop and flourish.
As set out in the Charities (Jersey) Law 2014, the Commissioner will be appointed by the Chief Minister and the interview process will be overseen by the Jersey Appointments Commission. The post is initially advertised in Jersey only, as knowledge of Jersey’s voluntary and community sector and finance industry is highly desirable.
Maintaining public trust
The Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, said “The appointment of an independent Charity Commissioner is key to building and maintaining public trust and confidence in Jersey charities, which in turn allows those charities to flourish. The Commissioner will need to balance the varying needs of very different organisations, from small unincorporated community groups to household name charities and private trusts set up by wealthy individuals who wish to support good causes.”
James Le Feuvre from Mind Jersey said “Charities make a unique and important contribution to our Island, and this can be measured in lives enhanced, in services delivered and, ultimately, in savings to the public purse. This appointment signals vitally important investment in this sector, securing its growth and its governance.”
The Association of Jersey Charities and the Jersey voluntary and community sector has given its overwhelming support to the development of the Charities Law and the introduction of a Commissioner. They, too, recognise that a well-regulated charitable sector will give sponsors and donors greater confidence, which in turn, is likely to lead to an increase in donations.
Chair of the Association of Jersey Charities, Liz Le Poidevin, said “This is good news for the extraordinary number of volunteers who give hundreds of thousands of hours each year to supporting our community through their several hundred charities. This appointment is recognition that without their selfless work many of the services and the support available to our community would simply not be there.”
The Charities Law will equally have significant benefits to the finance industry in Jersey. Chief Executive of Jersey Finance, Geoff Cook, said “As a leading international finance centre, Jersey is experienced in the establishment and administration of structures for charitable or wider philanthropic purposes. For many high net worth individuals, philanthropy is a natural extension of their business activities and the appointment of the Jersey Charity Commissioner will strengthen the Island’s ability to attract such investment.”
The deadline for applications is 29 March 2017.