16th November 2022 |
This document outlines the heads of the General Scheme of the Co-operative Societies Bill 2022. The General Scheme is accompanied by a Regulatory Impact Analysis.
The General Scheme:
- is the most far-reaching legislative reform in this area for over 130 years
- provides a specific legislative basis for Co-operative societies for the first time, with societies registering under the legislation being required to adhere to the Co-operative ethos
- consolidates and modernises existing provisions and introduces modern corporate governance, financial reporting and compliance requirements, making Co-operatives more attractive to investors
- makes it easier to set-up and operate a Co-operative society – for example, by reducing the minimum number of founding members (from seven to three), expanding the categories of founding members to include bodies corporate, providing for audit exemptions for smaller Co-operatives, providing for virtual and hybrid participation at general meetings
- empowers Co-operatives by providing them with the flexibility to reflect in their rules what best suits their own particular circumstances
The Department also published Reform and Modernisation of Legislation regarding Co-operative Societies, a policy response to the issues raised in the public consultation on proposed legislation regarding co-operative societies launched in January 2022.