BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

At a glance

The Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, has published a blog discussing the provision of public services by private and voluntary organisations.

The Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector has published its third annual assessment.

HEFCE has published two studies looking at quality assessment in higher education and what approaches other sectors and countries take.

Monitor has published its latest bulletin for Independent providers of health care.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published new legal guidance on freedom of expression.

The Market Research Society has announced that it is reporting 19 companies, including a number of charities, to the Information Commissioner’s Office for either selling under the guise of research, known as “sugging”, or fundraising under the guise of market research, referred to as “frugging”.


Charity Commission

Has published an inquiry report into Raleigh Limited, registered charity number 1123687. The charity’s main object is to advance religion in accordance with the orthodox Jewish faith and for such other purposes as are recognised by English law as charitable.

The Commission is:

  • Supporting a London-wide campaign Support Charity NOT Crime led by the London Prevent Network and the Metropolitan Police "to encourage Londoners and London businesses to support genuine charities with confidence".
  • Introducing a facility to request a call back from the technical support helpline for its online forms. You will be able to request a call back from an adviser within 24 hours if the lines are busy when you call.

General / governance

Lord Bew, the Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, has published this blog discussing the provision of public services by private and voluntary organisations. In the blog, Lord Bew explains that the public have a clear expectation that all providers - from whatever sector- should observe common ethical standards.

The third annual assessment of the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector (published last month) calls on David Cameron to take action to stop weakening the independence of the sector and to rebuild trust.


Campaigning and lobbying

The Government has announced the appointment of Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts to conduct a review of the operation of the regulatory regime governing third parties at the 2015 General Election. The review will report on the operation and effectiveness of the provisions regulating third parties contained within Part 6 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The review will assess whether third parties understood the regulatory rules, complied with those rules, and where breaches of the rules occurred, whether appropriate enforcement activity has been undertaken by the regulator. Ministers are required to lay a copy of the reviewer’s report before Parliament before November 2016.

Also see item below under Human Rights.


Social investment market

Civil Society Media reports here on the first social impact bonds to make use of social investment tax relief. Bates Wells Braithwaite were the lead legal advisors to each project.

Aspire Gloucestershire Limited, is a special purpose vehicle established by a partnership between County Community Projects and P3 for the sole purpose of performing a payment by results contract. The project was financed by a loan from the Charities Aid Foundation and investment from social institutional investors.

Ambition East Midlands Limited is a special purpose vehicle established by a partnership between P3, YMCA Derbyshire and Leicester Young Men's Christian Association Incorporated for a similar purpose. The project was financed by a loan from Big Issue Invest and Key Fund Investment from institutional social investors.

BWB’s David Hunter, who led the BWB team, comments: “With the help of my colleagues Louise Saunderson and Oliver Hunt we advised the special purpose vehicles on their contractual arrangements with the commissioner and with their service providers. We also advised on the funding documents with both institutional social investors and with high net worth individuals.”

The OECD has published New Investment Approaches for Addressing Social and Economic Challenges, a paper aiming to provide an introduction to and overview of the social investment market for policy makers in OECD and non-OECD countries. Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson spoke about the paper here.


Social value

Social Enterprise UK’s deputy chief executive Nick Temple has written this review of the Social Value Summit 2015 which took place last week.


Mutuals

Francis Maude, the Minister for Cabinet Office, gave this speech last week on the benefits of employee ownership and public service mutuals.


Community Rights

A report published last week by the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee says the Government should give people greater opportunities to save local pubs and other assets, build community housing, shape local services and bring public land back into use. The Committee calls on the Government to strengthen four of the current “Community Rights”.


Education

Schools - See this written statement to Parliament from Nicky Morgan about investment in school estate.

Higher education - HEFCE has published two studies looking at quality assessment in higher education and what approaches other sectors and countries take.


Health

Monitor has published its latest bulletin for independent providers of health care.

Compact Voice, NCVO and ACEVO are inviting expressions of interest from voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations who wish to participate in roundtables looking at how to improve the capacity and sustainability of the sector in relation to health and wellbeing. The roundtables will be held on the 25 and 26 February and will focus on ways to build the capacity and the sustainability of the sector.


Housing

The Department for Local Communities and the Homes and Communities Agency have launched a consultation on options to change the operation of the pre-emption right in shared ownership standard leases and other proposals to streamline the resale of shared ownership properties.


Human rights

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published new legal guidance on freedom of expression.


Arts

New laws came into force last week, changing when children can take part in public performance.


Information

The Market Research Society has announced that it is reporting 19 companies, including a number of charities, to the Information Commissioner’s Office. This is part of its campaign to combat the practice of selling under the guise of research, known as “sugging”, and fundraising under the guise of market research, referred to as “frugging”. The MRS says typically these unethical calls are labelled as “lifestyle surveys” and lead participants into the mistaken belief that the survey is genuine market or social research.

David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection at the ICO has published this blog about the slow progress to implement EU reform to data protection.


Fundraising

See item under Information above.


Scotland

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has announced that by the end of 2015, it plans to publish charities' accounts on Register entries, for all SCIOs and for charities with an annual income over £25,000.


Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland:


More BWB Newsletters

In case you missed them last week, our Property and Employment departments have sent out the Winter editions of their newsletters.


Posted on 10/02/2015 in Legal Updates

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