Business Registration Manager at the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ), Ms. Camille Neil, is appealing to delinquent charitable groups to file outstanding documents, in order to become fully compliant with the Companies Act.
“As at April 2009, a total of 3,395 companies limited by guarantee (charitable groups) were registered and of this total, 79.44 per cent or 2,697 are delinquent; that is, they have failed to file one or more documents with the Registrar,” Ms. Neil noted at yesterday’s (September 29) COJ ‘Meet the People’ interactive session, held at the Girl Guides Association Headquarters, on Waterloo Road, in Kingston.
The Manager pointed out that outstanding documents to be filed include Annual Returns, Income and Expenditure Statements, Change of Directors, Change of Address, Appointment of Secretary and Statutory Declaration.
Charitable groups, she noted refers to “churches, charitable organisations, service clubs, professional associations, community-based organisations and other such groups, which are registered under the Companies Act as companies limited by guarantee without a share capital.”
Highlighting the implications for non-compliance, Ms. Neil said that entities which continue to be delinquent run the risk of being removed from the register.
She noted that most of these companies “have assets, whether land, building, a vehicle, which is in the company’s name, and once the company is removed from the register, the company no longer holds these assets.”
Business Registration Manager at the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ), Ms. Camille Neil (seated-centre at table), responds to questions from a member of the audience at the ‘COJ Meet the People’ interactive session, held at the Girl Guides Association Headquarters, 2 Waterloo Road, in Kingston, on September 29. Also at head table are: Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Judith Ramlogan (right) and Customer Service Manager, Mrs. Inger Hainsley-Bennett (left).
Miss Neil further explained that when companies are removed from the COJ’s register, ownership of the assets is held by the Government on trust for 20 years, during which time, the company may make an application to be restored to the register.
The Manager informed those in attendance that the COJ is currently offering a special three-month amnesty from September 1 to November 30, to allow charitable groups to file outstanding documents at reduced fees of between 50 and 75 per cent.
Amnesty transactions will be conducted Mondays to Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and noon at the COJ head office, 1 Grenada Way, in New Kingston.
A drop-off box is available for deposits outside of these hours and special arrangements have been put in place, such as a designated waiting area for customers with amnesty transactions.
The COJ ‘Meet the People’ interactive sessions are targeted at charitable groups to learn more about the amnesty currently being offered by the COJ. The sessions will highlight the procedures for filing outstanding documents, the reduction in fees due to the amnesty, implications for non-compliance and general services offered by the COJ.
Charitable groups will be afforded the opportunity to raise concerns and have their questions answered in relation to the amnesty and general services of the COJ.
Five other sessions are being planned for the main towns and parish capitals across the island.