Red tape cut for Singapore charities
Friday, 4th October 2019 at 4:32 pm
Singapore is moving to reduce the red tape burden for charities through a new service that streamlines reporting processes for the sector.
A partnership between the Commissioner of Charities (COC), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and the Registry of Societies (ROS) will allow charities to file their annual submissions only once.
Previously, charities had to file their submissions with ACRA and COC, or with ROS and COC, depending on their legal structure.
Around 2,000 registered charities are expected to benefit from the partnership, which will save organisations money on administrative costs.
Culture, Community And Youth Minister Grace Fu told a charity governance conference on Tuesday that the partnership would help charities be more efficient.
“This ‘one-stop’ service… will help reduce compliance costs and administrative burden on charities, especially the smaller ones,” Fu said.
Fu also announced during the conference that the COC was piloting a data-sharing initiative with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).
This partnership means charities funded by NCSS – which previously submitted financial statements to the council and COC – will only need to submit documents to the COC.
“The COC [will] share the information with NCSS, thus reducing the reporting requirement for charities. The COC hopes to grow this initiative and will share more details in due course,” Fu said.
Porsche Poh, executive director of mental health charity Silver Ribbon, told The Straits Times the move will help charities save time.
“I am grateful because it will save charities a lot of time to make one report submission instead of multiple submissions,” Poh said.
“Moving forward, we can focus on the delivery of our services. ”
The COC announced last year it was working with four organisations to set up shared services for the sector, hoping to help smaller charities overcome compliance and governance difficulties.