BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

At a glance

Lord Hodgson has been appointed as official reviewer of the Lobbying Act.

The Institute for Risk Management has published a two page leaflet “Risk Management for Charities: Getting Started”.

Government has unveiled a package of new measures to boost the quality of alternative providers in higher education

The Government has published its response to the Law Commissions’ report on regulating health care professionals in the UK and social care professionals in England.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a report looking at how community healthcare providers approach data protection.

The Fundraising Standards Board has not upheld a complaint against Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (Battersea) for making a fundraising approach to a household displaying a ‘No Cold Calling’ sign.


Charity Commission

The House of Commons Select Committee which reported on the Charity Commission as a regulator in February 2014 is to hold a follow-up inquiry into the Commission. This has been triggered by the publication of the National Audit Office report (mentioned in last week’s BWB Briefing). The Charity Commission’s Chief Executive, Paula Sussex, will give evidence to the inquiry.

William Shawcross has been re-appointed Chair of the Charity Commission for a second three year term.
Although his pay remains the same, his role is expanded from 2 to 3 days per week.

Third Sector reports the Charity Commission has carried out a “register cleanse”, removing almost 1,000 charities that are either inactive or have failed to file their annual returns.


General

Last week, the Minister for Civil Society “shared his vision for a long-term social plan” at the launch of the 'Social Solutions' report”.


Campaigning and political activity

Civil Society Media reports Lord Hodgson has been appointed as official reviewer of the Lobbying Act (full name: the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014).


Managing Risk

The Institute for Risk Management has published a two page leaflet “Risk Management for Charities: Getting Started”.


Social investment market

Richard Brazil from Deric, blogs here about his experience of using social investment to improve care for older people.


Social value

See item under Northern Ireland below.


Education

Early years and schools – The Government has announced £5m of funding will be awarded to more than 60 teaching schools across the country who will partner up with local nurseries to “drive up standards and share best practice”.

Higher Education:

  • The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has issued its annual Grant Letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England outlining funding priorities for 2015 to 2016.
  • Government has unveiled a package of new measures to boost the quality of alternative providers in higher education.

Also see item under Arts and music below.


Health and social care

The Government has published its response on behalf of the 4 countries of the UK to the Law Commissions’ report on regulating health care professionals in the UK and social care professionals in England.

Also see item under Social investment above and two items under Information below.


Faith based organisations

The government is seeking bids from organisations to run a £400,000 programme to help strengthen and support faith institutions. The closing date is 2 March 2015 (midday).

The latest BWB newsletter for faith based organisations is now available. It includes the following:

  • Lucy McLynn looks at recent cases of vicarious liability where churches have been held liable for the abuse carried out by their priests and religious ministers.
  • Augustus Della-Porta argues the case for Muslim charities.
  • Simon Steeden explains the new rules which faith-based organisations and churches wishing to campaign on social issues in the run up to the election must comply with, and considers the impact of these rules on the sector.
  • Lucy McLynn and Barbara Eze explore the inspirational work of Muslim Hands in this edition's Client Focus.
  • Leona Roche reports on the significant case of St Margaret's in Scotland, which concerned public benefit and equality law and saw the decision of OSCR overturned.
  • And finally, Lucy Rhodes and Barbara Eze provide a summary of a number of 2014's key issues.

Rehabilitation of offenders

The government has announced that from 1st February post-prison support has been extended to an extra 45,000 offenders who previously left prison unsupervised. Now anyone sentenced to more than a day in prison will receive at least 12 months' rehabilitation on release.


Arts and music

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced £109 million funding to support children’s cultural education programmes including children’s music, film-making, dance and local-heritage activities. The network of 123 music education hubs that supports schools is set to benefit from £75 million of funding in the 2015 to 2016 financial year. An additional £1.1 million will be allocated this year to support education through 6 In Harmony programmes, and National Youth Music organisations such as the National Youth Orchestra and Music for Youth’s School Proms.


Volunteering

See item under Northern Ireland below.


Information

A change in the law has given the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) the right to force NHS authorities to be audited for compliance with the Data Protection Act. From 1 February, the ICO will be able to subject public healthcare organisations to a compulsory audit. These compulsory audits have previously only applied to central government departments.

The ICO has published:

  • a report looking at how community healthcare providers approach data protection. The report provides an analysis of data breaches in the sector that shows a trend of information being ‘disclosed in error’ - a problem that can be addressed by following the tips in the report.
  • This blog about the planned introduction of a data protection kitemark, the ICO Privacy Seal.

The ICO has required Google to sign a formal undertaking to improve the information it provides to people about how it collects personal data in the UK after concerns were raised around changes to the company’s privacy policy.


Fundraising

The Fundraising Standards Board FRSB) has not upheld a complaint against Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (Battersea) for making a fundraising approach to a household displaying a ‘No Cold Calling’ sign in May 2014. The FRSB Board ruled that the fundraising approach, carried out by fundraising agency APPCO:

  • Was not in breach of the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice – making doorstep visits to houses displaying No Cold Calling signage is not prohibited within the Code (except in officially designated No Cold Calling Zones)
  • Had not breached the “Respectful” principle, which is a key Code requirement. This was on the grounds the charity suspended visits to the complainant’s house immediately upon request.

The Institute of Fundraising has issued a news release reminding politicians ahead of the election that fundraised income is vital for financial sustainability.


Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive has published a Toolkit developed by the Strategic Investment Board as a practical guide on integrating social considerations into public contracts. It aims to provide organisations with procurement responsibilities with assistance on how they can help generate benefits to society and the local economy through their contracts.

The Department for Social Development has published research on estimated volunteering levels in Northern Ireland.


Join the BWB Charity and Social Enterprise team

We are currently recruiting to several roles within our team, with vacancies for experienced charity solicitors and those wanting a career change. See here for more details.


Posted on 03/02/2015 in Legal Updates

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