11 December 2023

On 27 November 2023, the Office of the Commissioner of Charities (“OCC”) announced that the Commissioner of Charities will be launching the Charity Compliance Indicators for all Institutions of a Public Character (“IPCs”) on 16 January 2024.

This initiative is intended to assist donors in making informed decisions when giving, by allowing donors to see, at a glance, where a charity stands in terms of regulatory compliance and adoption of best practices. For a start, this initiative will involve only IPCs.

The indicators, which comprise the following key information, will be featured on each IPC’s profile page on the Charity Portal with effect from 16 January 2024:

  • Charity Transparency / Charity Governance Awards received by the IPC in the recent three years;
  • Fund-raising expense ratio for the IPC’s latest financial year (“FY”);
  • Level of compliance with the Code of Governance for Charities and IPCs; and
  • Submission status of the IPC’s regulatory submissions for the latest FY.

The indicators in (b) to (d) above will be populated automatically based on the IPC’s latest annual submissions. A mock-up of the compliance indicators is available here.

These indicators have incorporated feedback received, including on the design of the indicators, from the public consultation conducted on this initiative. If the indicators are assessed to be beneficial to members of the public, it may be expanded to include all other charities (non-IPCs) in the future. Details of the OCC’s considerations for the indicators are available here.

In addition to the above indicators, an “Other Information” free-text field has been included. This is an optional field with a 500-character limit, maintained by IPCs (via organisation profile update) for IPCs to enter other relevant information on the indicators shown to explain, for example, outstanding or incomplete regulatory submissions, a high fund-raising expense ratio, or low compliance with the Code of Governance.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the Charity Portal website www.charities.gov.sg: