BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

At a glance

The Charity Commission has published a policy paper setting out how, when and why it reports on its regulatory work.

The government has announced the next steps in the requirement for companies to keep a register of persons with significant control.

New Philanthropy Capital has published “Financial oversight: What trustees need to know about finances and accounts”.

Big Society Capital has made available a series of short videos in which charities and social enterprises share their experiences of taking on social investment and their tips for other organisations considering it.


Charity Commission

Has published a policy paper setting out how, when and why the commission reports on its regulatory work e.g.

  • Announcing the opening of statutory inquiries into charities
  • Making statements about other live regulatory cases
  • responding to media coverage of its current regulatory work

Has reminded charities:

  • They can authorise their accountant or another advisor to submit the charity ‘s accounts
  • With a 31 March year end that the deadline for filing last year’s accounts with the Commission is 31 Jan.

Draft Protection of Charities Bill

See this Third Sector article for views from Andrew Philips, founder of BWB.


Governance

New Philanthropy Capital has published “Financial oversight: What trustees need to know about finances and accounts”.

See item under Scotland below.

Onboard’s Tesse Akpeki has blogged about the positive impact facilitation can have on charity board meetings.


Company law changes, including proposals to introduce a register of people with significant control (PSC)

The government has published a written ministerial statement setting out the next steps, which include:

  • A working group, to be established to oversee the development of the non-statutory and statutory guidance required to support the implementation of the PSC register. The group's membership will include business representative bodies and civil society groups, though no details are given of anyone appointed to the group yet. Peter Swabey of ICSA will chair the group.
  • An expert working panel, made up of company law specialists, will be formed to draft statutory guidance on what is meant by the expression "significant influence or control" in the context of the PSC register.

The government has also published a provisional plan with a staged implementation process for other changes which include:

  • October 2015. The prohibition on corporate directors will come into force.
  • January 2016. The requirement for companies to keep a register of persons with significant control will come into force (but the obligation to file this information at Companies House will not take effect until three months later).

Social investment 

Frances Maude gave this speech last week at an event with “social angel investors”.

Big Society Capital has made available a series of short videos in which charities and social enterprises share their experiences of taking on social investment and their tips for other organisations considering it.

Social Investment Business has launched a Liverpool City Region Impact Fund.


Social investment tax relief

Just a reminder that BWB’s Social Finance and Impact and Advisory teams have produced a BWB guide to social investment tax relief which is available on our website here.


Mutuals / spin outs

See item under Scotland below.


Education

See item under Advertising below.


Fundraising

Sponsorship – see item re BP’s sponsorship of Tate Gallery under Information below.


Advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint that the teacher’s union, NASUWT was wrong to claim in an advert that it was the “largest teachers' union in the UK”.


Information

From December, the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) ruled that the Tate Gallery must disclose the amount of BP’s sponsorship for the years 1990 to 2006. The ruling is contained in three related Tribunal decisions, the key one being this. See here for an article in the Independent about the case.

Christopher Graham, Information Commission has delivered a lecture talking about the role of the Information Commissioner and broader information rights issues.


Public Procurement

The Cabinet Office has published a policy statement on the proposed reforms to public procurement contained in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill (the Bill). It has also published “illustrative regulations”. The illustrative regulations, to be made under the Bill, relate to pre-procurement issues and a requirement on contracting authorities to consider applying the government’s preferred approach to procurement, known as “Lean sourcing principles”. The policy statement also sets out the government's position in relation to other issues that could potentially be included in regulations, such as e-invoicing, making available procurement information, consideration of SMEs, minimum/ maximum timescales, debriefing, and use of standard terms and conditions. The Cabinet Office intends to give further consideration and consult further as appropriate before making regulations on these issues.


Health and safety

Government has issued this press release claiming “Eighty four per cent of health and safety rules will have been scrapped or improved in this Parliament”. Further savings are forecast by revising electrical product testing guidance.


Northern Ireland

The NI Charity Tribunal has refused an application brought by Mr Trevor McKee to apply to extend time for the bringing of an appeal against CCNI decision to consent to the making of a regulated alteration to the articles of association of Lough Neagh Rescue Limited (“the Charity”).


Scotland

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has published its findings into a wide ranging review of charities set up as “Arms Length External Organisations” (ALEOs). These are charities that are subject to local authority control or influence – they are often set up to deliver services such as leisure and cultural facilities and regeneration. The report concludes that ALEOs generally are well managed - recommendations for improvement include:

  • Memoranda of Understanding between local authorities and ALEOs would set out more explicitly the exceptional circumstances when sole trustee powers could be exercised to protect public services.
  • Trustee boards should contain an appropriate mix of skills and trustees should consider how the selection process can be consistently applied to both Councillor trustees and independent trustees.
  • Where Councillors sit on local authority scrutiny or finance committees, these should not be the same committees that deal with the ALEO to ensure effectiveness of scrutiny.

Posted on 20/01/2015 in Legal Updates

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