The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) said yesterday that while it has some concerns with the Non-Profit Organisations Bill, which is set to be debated in the Senate today, it is already compliant with most of the provisions.
Last week, Parliament passed a compendium of bills that will establish new regulations to govern the financial services sector in The Bahamas.
The bills include the Register of Beneficial Ownership Bill, the Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Bill, the Removal of Preferential Exemptions Bill, the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill and the Non-Profit Organisations Bill.
“Some civil society organizations have expressed concern over confidentiality with regards to some of the reporting requirements, and the BNT does share some of those concerns,” the organization said in a statement.
“The Bahamas National Trust has reviewed the bill and has determined that, by virtue of the BNT Act, the organization is compliant with most of the conditions in the legislation.
“BNT does have a few issues which we will discuss with other civil society organizations and bring to the attention of the government.
“The BNT understands the need for transparency and proper regulation of the non-profit sector.”
The Non-Profit Organisations Bill seeks to regulate non-profit organizations and mandates that each organization register with the government and provide, among other things, evidence of its gross annual income, the identities of its members and evidence of know your customer due diligence.
The bill also mandates that each NPO report donations of $50,000 or more as well as its 10 largest donations.
Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said that the “overriding objective of the bill is to ensure that NPOs are operating in a transparent manner and are not engaged in activities which constitute an identified risk as defined in the Proceeds of Crime Act (Ch 93), namely activities involving corruption, cybercrimes, human trafficking, money laundering, financing of terrorism, or proliferation or financing of weapons of mass destruction.”