The Charitable Trusts Act 1945 (Act) requires charitable trusts registered in Fiji to file a return with the Registrar of Titles (Registrar) at least once a year.
The annual return should contain the following details:
- names and addresses of all trustees
- names and addresses of current board members
- names, addresses and designations of office bearers
- a copy of the trust’s audited annual accounts/financial report.
The Registrar has powers to publish any or all information in relation to the non-compliance of the charitable trust (including the names of trustees and board members). The Registrar can also, after delivering and publishing the relevant notice in the Gazette, cancel the incorporation of trusts that fail to comply with this annual filing requirement.
Last year the Registrar “cracked down” on non-compliant trusts, issuing 21-day notices which, in some cases, were ignored, resulting in de-registration. This meant significant work to restore or re-incorporate organisations that had “missed the boat”. This process can be expensive and disruptive and also damage relationships with donors and funders.
What should charitable trusts do?
First – pay attention to the requirement for annual filing and ensure that audited accounts and usual financial governance processes are on track.
Second – if you receive a notice from the Registrar, do not ignore it. Contact the Registry to explain the trust’s situation and ensure that the Registrar is aware of the trust’s intention to comply.
Third – if you anticipate that, for whatever reason, the trust will take longer than usual to make its annual filing, contact the Registrar to explain the situation.
 s. 29A(1)
 s. 29A(3)
 s. 29A(2)
The information and opinions in this Legal Alert are for general information purposes only. They are not intended as specific legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon or treated as a substitute for specific advice. Munro Leys can accept no responsibility for any loss arising from reliance on the general information contained in this Legal Alert.