BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

At a glance

The Members of the Parliamentary Committee to scrutinise the Protection of Charities Bill have been announced.

The Association of Chairs has published “A Chair’s Compass – a guide for Chairs of Charities and non-profit organisations”.

NCVO has worked with the Electoral Commission to publish some additional FAQs for charities on the impact of the Lobbying Act.

ACEVO and the Central Southern Commissioning Support Unit have released a new framework for the NHS to work with third sector health and care providers.

The Department for Education has published non-statutory guidance for schools on the cloud, software services and the Data Protection Act 1998.


Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has published new guidance:

The Charity Commission has marked National Trustees’ Week (10-16 November 2014) by urging charities to undertake regular board skills audits and ‘mind the gap’ in their trustee boards.

Tesse Akpeki, Onboard consultant stresses that getting board recruitment right is the first step to strengthening the board. She comments "We have developed some useful tools for carrying out skills audits and can help charities tailor these to their specific needs”. For more information, please visit the onboard website.

The Commission has opened statutory inquiries into:

  • Revelation Foundation, a charity with objects to advance Christianity in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and its activities include making and broadcasting Christian television programmes from Spain.
  • Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church; St Mary of Debre Tsion. A previous inquiry was opened earlier this year and then closed shortly afterwards. The charity is appealing the opening of the first inquiry to the Upper Tribunal. It is not entirely clear why a second inquiry has now been opened.​

Protection of Charities Bill

The Members of the Parliamentary Committee to scrutinise the Bill have been announced. They include Lord Hodgson and Nick Hurd, MP. The Committee will publish a Call for Evidence in the near future. You can register to receive the press release associated with the Call for Evidence by emailing williamso@parliament.uk.


Charity Tribunal

Bryan Gunn, former trustee of the Dove Trust, has filed a new appeal.


Charity law cases

The High Court has handed down judgment in the long running dispute between the charity The Warburg Institute and its trustee, the University of London. The High Court rejected the University of London’s claims that all additions to the Warburg Institute since 1944 belong to the university, and instead agreed that they form part of the Warburg Institute. Furthermore, the judge, Mrs Justice Proudman, held that the university is obliged to provide funding for the activities of the Warburg Institute. See here for the judgment and here for comment from BWB’s Leticia Jennings.


Governance

The Association of Chairs has published “A Chair’s Compass – a guide for Chairs of Charities and non-profit organisations”. Free copies can be downloaded from here.


Campaigning

NCVO has worked with the Electoral Commission to publish some additional FAQs for charities on the impact of the Lobbying Act.


Social investment

Last week Iain Duncan Smith delivered this speech about the role of government in social impact investing.

Civil Society Media reports FareShare South West, a Bristol-based charity, is the first charity to complete a deal that makes use of social investment tax relief.


Impact

Jim Clifford of BWB’s Advisory and Impact was involved with this social research project for Stepchange, the results of which were announced last week.


Health and social care

ACEVO and the Central Southern Commissioning Support Unit have released a new framework for the NHS to work with third sector health and care providers


Education

Schools - the Department for Education has published non-statutory guidance for schools on the cloud, software services and the Data Protection Act 1998.

Primary schools are to receive a fresh funding boost of over £150 million to improve PE lessons as part of the PE and sport premium.

New content for Religious Studies GCSE has been published for consultation. The government says the new content has been “approved by all the major churches and faith groups”.


Faith-based organisations

See item under Education above.


Sport

See item under Education above.


Fundraising

Last month, the Institute of Fundraising launched an Online Giving Platforms Guide produced with Charity Finance Group.

The Fundraising Standards Board is launching a new Complaint Benchmarking Report service for member charities, as part of its wider auditing programme.

Civil Society Media reports the Department for Culture Media and Sport will launch a consultation in the next few weeks to consider whether to increase or decrease the regulation of society lotteries.


Data protection and freedom of information

The Information Commissioner’s Office is warning organisations that they must make sure their websites are protected against one of the most common forms of online attack – known as SQL injection. The warning comes after the hotel booking website, Worldview Limited, was fined £7,500 following a serious data breach where a vulnerability on the company’s site allowed attackers to access the full payment card details of 3,814 customers.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport is consulting on proposals to lower or remove the threshold for consumer harm, to enable the Information Commissioner's Office to bring enforcement action against those who breach the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (2003 Regulations). The consultation focuses on live unsolicited direct marketing calls and SMS text messages, but the proposals will also apply to automated recorded calls, fax messages, email, identification of sender (when concealed) for email, and the information regulations. BWB’s Mairead O’Reilly comments “These proposals could potentially impact on charity fundraising. I would hope that the sanctions would be reserved for persistent offenders who send lots of spam despite being asked to stop but charities concerned about these changes should respond to the consultation.”

See item under Education above. 


Intellectual property

The Intellectual Property Office has announced a new licensing scheme which will give wider access to at least 91 million “orphaned” creative works including diaries, oral history recordings and films.


Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has issued a reminder that all charities operating in NI should check they are included on one of the Commission’s three pre-registration lists. For English charities operating in Northern Ireland, we suggest checking you are on the “non-deemed” list and if in doubt, to contact CCNI direct.


Posted on 13/11/2014 in Legal Updates

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