The non-profits legislation is now in effect, and one policy expert says the new law will help bring the charitable sector of the economy into focus. As it stands, there’s no real picture of how many non-profits are operating in Cayman, how much money they’re working with, or what they’re doing with it.
Wilbur Welcome, a policy officer in the Ministry of Financial Services told Cayman 27 the new non-profits law has three main functions.
“The first is to meet FATF requirements, secondly it’s in the public interest that we have some structure around nonprofit organizations in the jurisdiction, and thirdly we wanted to streamline some of the processes that apply to nonprofit organizations,” said Mr. Welcome.
Mr. Welcome said Cayman is due for an assessment from the Financial Actions Task Force, or FATF, in December. The new law will meet its monitoring requirements.
“The collection of information is for us to do a risk assessment of the sector, to go back to the FATF client that we can monitor those who represent the greatest risk of terrorist financing,” said Mr. Welcome.
For the public, he said the new law will help prevent fly-by-night charities from taking advantage of the community’s generosity and goodwill.
“It’s in the public interest to know who has been registered, who is legitimate and doing business in the sector,” said Mr. Welcome.
Under the law, he said the registrar and the Attorney General have powers to investigate a non-profit organisation.
“In the instance where someone is operating a nonprofit outside of the law and there’s been complaints filed, and investigation will be instituted and it will follow the legal procedure,” said Mr. Welcome.
He said current section 80 non-profits must register within a one-year period.
The penalty for not registering is a $500 automatic fine, and $10 a day each day thereafter, up to $3000.
Mr. Welcome said there are some exemptions, such as one-time community fundraising events.