BWB highlights

Concerned about surviving in an age of scrutiny? Come to the NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference where BWB’s Philip Kirkpatrick with be speaking on this topic.


At a glance

The Charity Commission has published a report into the charity The Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The Financial Conduct Authority is consulting on draft guidance on its registration function for Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has published its latest Annual Report.

The CIC Regulator has published the results of a Freedom of Information Act request about complaints in relation to CICs.

The Intellectual Property Act 2014 came into effect on 1 October.


Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has appointed an Interim Manager of the charity Afghan Poverty Relief. Earlier this year the Commission opened an inquiry and two trustees were convicted of defrauding the charity of £350,000. The Interim Manager will:

  • Represent the charity during ongoing criminal confiscation proceedings, conducted under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and make arrangements for the proper application of any funds that may be recovered by the charity as a result
  • Identify the extent of any assets and liabilities of the charity in the UK and Afghanistan
  • Compile and submit overdue annual accounts and returns; and
  • Determine the future of the charity.

The Commission has published a report of its Operational compliance case involving the charity The Global Warming Foundation. The charity has education objects, a high media profile and prominent trustees, including its chair Lord Lawson. It actively engages in debate on global warming. Concerns were raised with the Commission that the charity was promoting views that were of a political rather than an educational nature. This led to the Trustees agreeing to establish a non-charitable organisation to act as a campaigning body.

The Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Legal Action (registered charity number 1100780).

  • It has published inquiry reports into two more “double defaulting” charities:
  • Cathedral of Revival Assembly of God
  • Redeemed Christian Church of God (‘RCCG’) New Life Assembly (House of Prayer for All Nations)

Regulation of Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies

The Financial Conduct Authority is consulting on draft guidance on its registration function under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. The consultation runs until 28 November. BWB’s Luke Fletcher is co-ordinating BWB’s response to the draft guidance.


Governance

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has published its latest Annual Report. It includes reports on their work to review transparency around lobbying, to look at ethical standards for providers of public services and ethics in induction and training.


Social Enterprise

The CIC Regulator has published the results of an FOI request about complaints in relation to CICs. The request asked for numbers of complaints and names of companies complained about. The response includes numbers (e.g. 78 complaints in the year 2013-2014) but not names other than the Air Ambulance Support CIC (07308919) which was taken to the High Court in 2011. It claimed to be collecting clothes for the charity “Air Ambulance” but had no connection with the organisation. The High Court ordered that the CIC be wound up under the provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986. The response does say the Regulator has had a number of cases where a CIC had given the impression that they are a charity, thereby misleading the public. In all those cases, steps were quickly taken to ensure that the website, literature and signage are updated to make it clear that they are a CIC and staff trained appropriately.


Health and Social Care

The Cabinet Office’s Centre for Social Action has launched a £1m Social Action End of Life Support Fund which will focus on projects that provide compassionate support for people at the end of their lives. Hospice UK, previously known as Help the Hospices, will run the fund.

Spin-outs - The Department of Health has issued guidance on how employees outsourced under the old Fair Deal guidance can return to the NHS pension scheme in respect of future service with a private-sector contractor.


Education

HE - HEFCE has commented on the results of the most recent Efficiency Measurement Model survey, through which universities report on the efficiencies achieved through improved procurement methods.


Local government funding

The Fourth Annual Survey of Local Compacts is now open. Also, this year’s Compact Week is 3-7 November.


Fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising has published this blog on reform of society lotteries.

Civil Society Media reports the proportion of UK charities reporting no income from gift aid increased eight percentage points to 50 per cent this year, according to the 2014 State of the Not-for-Profit Industry report.


Intellectual Property

A number of changes to intellectual property law came into effect on 1 October. They include:

  • Relaxations of the rules about copying music from a CD to an MP3 player.
  • A new exception to copyright for parody caricature, pastiche
  • Improvements to rules on how you can use quotations
  • A new limited right to use copyright material without the permission of the copyright holder, but only to the extent that the use is fair and proportionate.
  • The creation of a criminal offence for intentional copying of a registered design
  • Providing new protections for pre-publication research “to ensure the UK’s universities and the research sector remains a world-leader”

Many of the changes are introduced in the Intellectual Property Act 2014.


Developments in Brazil

For an insight into the relationship between civil society organisations and government in Brazil, see this article on the International Centre for Not for Profit Law website. From 2 November, a new law promises to create a “clear bridge between organized civil society and the government”.


Posted on 07/10/2014 in Legal Updates

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