BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

BWB Highlights

At the DSC/BWB conference last week, BWB Partner Rosamund McCarthy chaired a plenary discussion about the priorities of the Charity Commission. See today’s briefing for details.

The BWB Briefing takes a half-term break next week and returns the week beginning 1 June.


At a glance

The Chancellor has announced that there will be a Summer Budget on Wednesday 8 July 2015.

Civil Society Media reports NCVO is to appoint a 'media network coordinator' to promote good news stories about charities.

The Department for Education has published updated guidance for schools on effective buying.

Aimed at development charities, Bond has launched “Impact Evaluation: A Guide for Commissioners and Managers”.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued South Wales Police with a £160,000 fine for losing a video recording which formed part of the evidence in a sexual abuse case.


Charity Commission

Has published the result of its inquiry into the double defaulting charity, Friends of Horim Establishments Tel Aviv and Arad.

Has publicised the opening of inquiries into:

  • The Veterans Charity as a result of concerns raised with the commission about the charity’s administration, the Commission is examining the charity’s financial controls, fundraising practices and the extent to which its funds are applied for charitable purposes. Unusually, the Commission has used its powers under Section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 to specify a range of controls that the charity must put in place for its fundraising collections, including specific controls for a planned 5 day event, The Forces March, which starts later this week.
  • Urban Relief. The inquiry was opened on 3 February 2015. The inquiry was opened following the conviction of one of the trustees of the charity for laundering funds from the proceeds of crime through the charity.
  • Chevras Machzikei Mesifta for repeatedly defaulting on the submission of annual accounting information.
  • Bfon Trust for repeatedly defaulting on the submission of accounts.

General

The Chancellor George Osborne has announced that there will be a Summer Budget on Wednesday 8 July 2015.

Civil Society Media reports NCVO is to appoint a 'media network coordinator' to promote good news stories about charities.


Campaigning

During a plenary discussion at the DSC/BWB Annual Charity Law Conference last week, Paula Sussex, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, did not rule out a review of CC9, the Commission’s guidance on charity campaigning. See this Civil Society Media report.


Social investment

Big Society Capital has published articles on how social investment can:


Social impact

In the course of advising European Impact Investing Luxembourg on the impact reporting framework for a proposed new Luxembourgish social enterprise legal vehicle, this BWB report has now been submitted to the Luxembourg Ministry for Labour, Employment and the Social Economy. If implemented, the new legal vehicle, the “Societe d’Impact Societal”, will have policy implications for other governments. A draft Bill is expected to be submitted to the Luxembourg Parliament about the Societe d’Impact Societal shortly. BWB’s Jim Clifford comments “It would be a unique hybrid legal vehicle operating for a social purpose which could receive both donations (which are tax relieved and are continually recycled in the business of the social enterprise) and investments (which are not tax relieved and which generate returns for shareholders). It will also inextricably link the generation of financial return for investors to the achievement of tangible social impact results, which would be the first time any legal form has a mechanism of this kind. The structure also has the potential to obviate the need for charity-trading subsidiary groups where there is a combination of philanthropic and business activity taking place.”

Also see item re impact under international development below.


Education

On 12 May 2015, the Department for Education published updated guidance for schools on effective buying. The guidance is aimed at school leaders, school business managers, back office staff and governing bodies. The non-statutory guidance has been revised to:

  • Take into account changes to the public procurement regime introduced under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/102).
  • Include information on catering services and how savings can be made by schools.

The guidance will be reviewed again before 29 February 2016.


Health

The Prime Minister used his first major speech to underline his commitment to a 7-day NHS, with funding set to increase by £8 billion a year.


International development

Bond, with support from DFID, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund has launched “Impact Evaluation: A Guide for Commissioners and Managers”. The guide aims to empower commissioners of evaluations to make more informed choices about appropriate evaluation methods. Bond will be working on a practical tool for choosing evaluation methods to accompany this paper over the coming months.


Information

The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has:

  • issued South Wales Police with a £160,000 fine for losing a video recording which formed part of the evidence in a sexual abuse case
  • issued Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust with an undertaking committing the trust to improving the way it handles patients’ information. The action comes after the trust mistakenly sent five faxes containing information relating to the care of several patients to a member of the public.
  • published updated guidance on the issue of monetary penalty notices under section 55A to 55E of the Data Protection Act 1998. Note, this new guidance does not reflect a change in the law from 6 April 2015 removing the requirement to prove "substantial damage or substantial distress" in some cases – further amended guidance is expected.

The ICO has begun a review of websites and apps used by children. It will look at 50 websites and apps targeted at or frequently used by children, looking particularly at what information they collect from children, how that is explained, and what parental permission is sought.


Fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising has published a statement following the publicity surrounding the death of Olive Cooke and announced that its Standards Committee will review any learning following Mrs Cooke’s death.


Posted on 19/05/2015 in Legal Updates

Back to Knowledge