New regulations imposing new requirements on voluntary organisations’ fundraising activities have been repealed by the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations.
Organisations that are enrolled with the commissioner’s office and which are compliant with all legal requirements will be able to collect funds without needing to notify the commissioner.
Back in April, several NGOs as well as the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector and several band clubs had called for the new rules to be repealed given that they would significantly reduce such organisations’ ability to raise the funds they need to operate.
The rules would have required organisations to apply for permission from the commissioner before each fundraising activity. Funds also needed to be collected in specific containers obtained from the commissioner’s office, which could also only be opened in the presence of an official representing the commissioner.
These rules have now been repealed, with a new set of regulations coming into force in January.
In a statement this morning, commissioner Jes Saliba said the rules had been changed after months of talks with both the council and individual organisations.
Saliba said the consultations held in recent weeks showed that “voluntarism in Malta is truly recognised as a fundamental pillar of Maltese society”.
The breakthrough in talks was also welcomed by Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima, who is responsible for the sector, who stressed that the new regulations were based on the sector’s own ideas.
“It is truly exciting to see all stakeholders within the voluntary sector work cohesively to safeguard and strengthen the voluntary sector against those that want to take advantage of the vulnerability of this sector,” Saliba said.
The new rules will, however, require those collecting money to wear a name tag, clearly stating their identity, as well as details about the organisations they are representing.
Similarly, collection tins can be provided by the organisations themselves and will have to be opened in the presence of two of the group’s administrators, but not before a warranted professional as was previously proposed.
When it comes to charity shops, these will have to have the words ‘charity shop’ in both Maltese and English printed inside the shop.
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