Representatives of sports associations, federations updated on new Association Act |17 May 2022
Representatives of local sports federations and associations have received information about the new Associations Act that will be enacted soon.
The new Associations Act which repeals the Registration of Associations Act, Cap 201 1959, seeks to comply with among other laws, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act, 2020 and the Beneficial Ownership Act, in regards to international best practices and standards. It also seeks to streamline the process of application and registration of associations, in order to bring more transparency in the sector and to protect any party who is or intends to associate with any new association.
The information session was run by the Registrar division in collaboration with the National Sports Council (NSC) on Saturday morning at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS).
Under the Registration of Association Act, only two or more persons were able to apply to register an association with the submission of only an application letter, the list of office bearers, the constitution and the resolution of the elected members of the associations. But under the new Associations Act, five or more persons are required to register an association to which the secretary needs to submit the due diligence documents; the names, occupations, registered office, addresses, nationalities and documents of proof of identity of the members, officers and also the founder of the association.
The proposed secretary of an association or federation seeking registration under the Association Act shall make an application in writing to the Registrar not later than three months from the date of the first meeting at which the formation of the association/federation and its rules were approved.
The secretary also needs to submit the resolution of the members of the association appointing the officers; copy of the minutes of proceedings of the meeting at which the rules of the association were approved; relevant registration fee(s), the rules of the association and any other information in respect of the association as the Registrar may require.
The Registration of Associations Act made no provision for foreign associations while the new act ‒ Associations Act ‒ makes provision for foreign associations seeking registration in the country, among others.
The meeting was led by Registrar General Wendy Pierre in the presence of National Sports Council (NSC) chief executive Jean Larue.
Since sports federations and associations are non-profitable, the meeting was an opportunity to share with their representatives knowledge on the reasons why all sports bodies have to be compliant and of their obligations towards the new law, including the sanctions to be imposed in case they breach the laws.
One of the main concerns of the federations and associations after the long discussion was the issue of the terms of office of executive office bearers which is two terms only as stipulated under the new law. They said the two-term mandates are not in line with that of their affiliated international bodies which no longer have mandates limit.
Mrs Pierre explained that the two-term mandates has been introduced in the spirit of good practice and good governance so to give opportunities to others who wish to take up responsibilities as office bearers and in a timely framed period, as compared to the past law which allowed office bearers to serve forever and ever on the executive committees.
She later described the meeting as “very fruitful and with many valid points”.
Mrs Pierre added that they will further evaluate those points of concern and get back to the federations and associations, but in the meantime the Registrar’s office will be developing an awareness and training programme on the new law for all associations.
She added that the new law is only asking for people in charge to be compliant and to know their obligations.
It was also revealed during the meeting that among the sports associations and federations registered, the Seychelles Swimming Association, Seychelles Cycling Association, the Seychelles Jujitsu Association, the Triathlon Association of Seychelles, Seychelles Sambo Association and the Seychelles Gymnastic Association have been struck off the registrar for non compliance.
Meanwhile, when transitioning from the Registration of Associations Act to Associations Act or registering a new association after having been struck off the register, all sports federations’ and associations’ liabilities and obligations which existed yet under the Registration of Associations Act will continue to exist.