Letter of Comfort

Trevor McKee made this Freedom of Information request to Executive Office (Northern Ireland) Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Executive Office (Northern Ireland) did not have the information requested.

Dear Executive Office (Northern Ireland),

Following the McBride judgment of May 2019, the DfC issued a
Letter of Comfort (LoC), to the Charity Commission confirming the Department would meet any costs which the Commission could not meet from its own resources which were incurred as a result of any claim made against the Commission in respect of decisions taken prior to
the High Court Draft Judgment handed down by Madam Justice McBride on 16 May
2019. This agreement applied to actions taken against the Commission as a whole,
individual Commissioners or any member of staff who acted in good faith on behalf of
the Commission. This was done to ensure that services to charities would not need to
be cut by the Commission in the event that the Commission, individual Commissioners
or members of the Commission staff incurred costs as a result of those proceedings.

As the department responsible for the authorisising of the DfC to submit such a letter relevant correspondence will be in the possession of TEO.

1. Please provide a copy of the Letter of Comfort
2. Please provide correspondence from the DfC advising and seeking permission to enter into such an agreement.
3. Please advise, if its not obvious from the LoC, to what value will the loC underwrite and the specific circumstances which were agreed in which the DfC will honour it.

Yours faithfully,

Trevor McKee

TEO FOI, Executive Office (Northern Ireland)

1 Attachment

Dear Mr McKee,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 15
December 2023 in The Executive Office (TEO) FOI inbox.

While you have submitted a valid FOI request as set out in Section 8 of
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) there is provision within the FOIA
Section 45 Code of Practice for Public Authorities to deal with requests
outside the FOIA as normal course of business.

Therefore, under this provision, to facilitate a speedier resolution to
your query I am providing you with a normal course of business response.

Please be advised that TEO does not hold any information pertaining to
your request as it does not fall within its responsibilities.

However, in line with section 16 of FOIA – duty to provide advice and
assistance, please be advised that TEO is only one of a number of separate
and legally distinct public authorities within the Northern Ireland
Executive ([1]Your Executive | Northern Ireland Executive ; [2]Government
departments | Northern Ireland Executive). Within the NI Executive the
Department for Communities (DfC) is responsible for the policy and legal
framework for charity regulation in Northern Ireland and is also
responsible for overseeing the work of the Charity Commission for Northern

Therefore, as your request refers to correspondence between DfC and The
Charity Commission, DfC may hold information relevant to your request.

For ease, I have included the relevant contact details for the Department
for Communities; [3][email address]

I hope you have found this response of assistance.

However, should you require a formal FOIA response reiterating the above,
please let us know as soon as possible so a response may issue within FOIA
statutory deadlines.


Access to Information Team | Information Management and Central Advisory

Room E3.24 | Castle Buildings | Stormont | Belfast | BT4 3SR

* [4][Executive Office request email]


show quoted sections