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