Appointment of the Jersey Charity Commissioner

Friday 23 June 12:23

The Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, has notified the States Assembly that he intends to appoint John Mills CBE as Jerseys’ first Charity Commissioner.

Mr Mills has previously held senior roles in the States of Jersey and in both national and local government in the UK. His principal duties as Charity Commissioner will be to determine which organisations may be registered as charities and to ensure that those in charge of registered charities meet the legal requirements.

One of Mr Mills’ first tasks will be to develop guidance on the 'charity test', on the basis of which, organisations will be able to apply for registration as charities. He will also establish a register of charities, which will be publicly accessible except for certain restrictions as defined in the Charities Law. On appointment he will be seeking wide engagement with the voluntary sector in Jersey, and with all other stakeholders including the finance industry, in order to ensure not only that he begins to develop a good understanding of their situation and the challenges they face, but also that they are able to familiarise themselves with the new regulatory arrangements for charities which the States have decided to introduce by means of the new law.

The aim of the Commissioner is to protect public trust and confidence in registered charities and to encourage charitable giving and voluntary participation in charitable work. The Commissioner is also expected to keep to a reasonable level the administrative burden on charities from the new regulatory regime.

Senator Routier said: “I am delighted to announce my intention to appoint Jersey’s first independent Charity Commissioner. John Mills will bring a wide range of relevant experience to the role. He has worked in senior positions in government for more than 30 years, including as a member of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit, as chief executive of Cornwall County Council and, from 1999-2003, as chief executive (Policy and Resources) in Jersey. 

“Mr Mills has significant experience of financial services regulation in Jersey and of other regulatory spheres both here and in the UK. He was chair of trustees of a large UK educational charity for 18 years, and he has the skills and experience necessary to establish the new registration arrangements required by the Charities Law, and to build the public trust and confidence in Jersey charities that is essential for them to flourish."

John Mills said: "I am very pleased indeed to have the opportunity to take on this important new role and look forward to getting the new arrangements up and running and working well, in the interests of charities, beneficiaries and donors alike. I have seen at first hand, in a variety of settings not only in Jersey, the public benefit that can be delivered by good charities, large and small. 

“A well-functioning charity sector is of huge value, both to the whole community of the Island and to beneficiaries beyond its shores. It is also important for the Island's international reputation, not least because many private philanthropic funds are managed in Jersey."

Under the Charities Law, the appointment of the Commissioner is for the Chief Minister, who must give the States 14 days’ notice of his intention to make the appointment. In accordance with a specific requirement in the Charities Law, the Appointments Commission was consulted on the appointment and the process for it.

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