Marigold Foun­da­tion’s given ex­ten­sion to file for au­dited re­port be­cause board could not be con­vened

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici

The Marigold Foun­da­tion was granted a one-month ex­ten­sion to sub­mit its au­dited an­nual re­port for 2016 to the Com­mis­sioner of Vol­un­tary Or­gan­i­sa­tions after the foun­da­tion found it dif­fi­cult to call a board meet­ing to ap­prove the an­nual re­turns and ac­counts be­cause many mem­bers were un­avail­able at the time.

The Foun­da­tion, which ap­plied for the ex­ten­sion on 20 Au­gust, was re­quired to hand in its an­nual re­port to the Com­mis­sion by the end of said month.

With­out the ex­ten­sion, the Foun­da­tion would have been non-com­pli­ant with the Com­mis­sion and would have lost its sta­tus as a vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion within the Com­mis­sion, mean­ing that it would no longer have ac­cess to funds.

Speak­ing to The Malta In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day, Com­mis­sioner Prof. Ken­neth Wain also re­vealed that a mis­un­der­stand­ing in the Foun­da­tion’s cat­e­gory sta­tus within the or­gan­i­sa­tion con­trib­uted to the ex­ten­sion.

Wain ex­plained that the grant- ing of ex­ten­sions is not com­mon­place but not un­usual ei­ther and re­quires a spe­cific writ­ten re­quest to the Com­mis­sioner, who has been pro­vided this dis­cre­tion by law.

He also re­vealed that in 2016 there were be­tween 15 to 20 from 1379 or­gan­i­sa­tions (about 1.5 per cent) who were granted an ex­ten­sion.

“The ex­ten­sions are given on an ad hoc ba­sis when a re­quest is made to the Com­mis­sioner which is, in the Com­mis­sioner’s view jus­ti­fied, and the rea­sons could be var­i­ous.

“With re­gard to the Marigold Foun­da­tion, the re­quest for ex­ten­sion was re­ceived on 20th Au­gust. It has al­ways since its en­rol­ment sub­mit­ted au­dited ac­counts not­with­stand­ing the fact that in 2014, 2015, 2016 it was tech­ni­cally a Cat­e­gory 2 or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“It will be­come a Cat­e­gory 3 or­gan­i­sa­tion tech­ni­cally at the end of 2017 if the trend in 2015 and 2016 of ex­ceed­ing an­nual rev­enue of €200,000 per­sists.”

The re­quest, Wain ex­plained, was re­lated to the fact that the or­gan­i­sa­tion mis­read the law and was un­der the im­pres­sion that the Marigold Foun­da­tion was al­ready au­to­mat­i­cally a Cat­e­gory 3 or­gan­i­sa­tion and there­fore thought they needed to sub­mit their ac­counts by the end of Au­gust.

There­fore, a short one-month ex­ten­sion was granted.

Since the or­gan­i­sa­tion had not had any dif­fi­cul­ties with the Foun­da­tion in the past, the Com­mis­sioner thought it rea­son­able to grant a short ex­ten­sion.

“I have been sim­i­larly prag­matic with other VOs over the years, so there was noth­ing ex­cep­tional here.”

The Foun­da­tion has up to the end of Septem­ber to sub­mit its an­nual re­port.

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