BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprises

BWB Highlights

Regulation of fundraising is under extreme scrutiny. In today's BWB Briefing, we look at details of plans proposed by the IOF, FRSB and PFRA.


At a glance

The Charities (Protection and social investment) Bill has had its first reading in the House of Lords.

The FRSB, IoF, and PFRA have announced plans for more robust standards in fundraising, including the appointment of an independent chair of Standards Committee.

The Education and Adoption Bill 2015-16 has been published.

The First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) (FTT(IR)) has held that an independent school must publish under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) collated results of pupil, parent and staff surveys that were conducted to help the school's senior leadership team plan.

Civil Society Media reports the Charity Commission and other charity regulators plan to consult later this month on scrapping the Sorp for smaller charities.


Charity Commission

Has published:

A case report relating to a scheme made for the charity Oxley Park. The charity’s objects are to provide an open space for outdoor recreation. The local council is the corporate trustee of the charity. Many years ago, a predecessor authority to the council that is the current corporate trustee built a leisure centre on the land in the mistaken belief that it would be within the objects of the charity. It wasn’t, because the leisure centre provided indoor as well as outdoor recreation. Following a council decision to close the leisure centre, a group of local residents joined together to set up a new charity, with the aim of leasing the leisure centre from the council to keep it open. The commission’s involvement was needed to facilitate this – by granting a scheme to broaden the objects of Oxley Park for that part of the land where the leisure centre was built so that it included wider recreational purposes.

the results of commission inquiries into two double defaulting charities:
- Qur’ani Murkuz Trust
- The Redeemed Evangelical Mission Charity

Has issued a press release publicising community foundations as an alternative to setting up new charities.

Civil Society Media reports the non-charitable organisation Cage has taken the Charity Commission to court for “exceeding its role” after charities said the regulator had pressured them to stop funding the group. Cage has made a submission to the High Court, seeking a quashing order to be made against the regulator over its decision in March to make the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation withdraw their funding from the advocacy group.


Novel purposes / structures

The charity “The Centre for Criminal Appeals” has successfully applied to the Solicitors Regulation Authority to be registered as a law firm.


Charities (Protection and social investment) Bill

Has had its first reading in the House of Lords and the second is scheduled for this week.


Finance and accounting

Civil Society Media reports the Charity Commission and other charity regulators plan to consult later this month on scrapping the Sorp for smaller charities.


Social enterprise

The CIC Regulator has published its operational report for the last quarter.


Education

Schools

The Education and Adoption Bill 2015-16 has been published. See this Department of Education press release about the Bill.

Also see item under Information below.

Higher education

The Office for Fair Access has appointed a research team led by Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Education and Inclusion Research to investigate the impact of the financial support that universities and colleges give to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Information

The First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) (FTT(IR)) has held that an independent school must publish under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) collated results of pupil, parent and staff surveys that were conducted to help the school's senior leadership team plan. The tribunal held the school could not rely on exemptions from disclosure under section 36(2)(c) of FOIA (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs, in the opinion of a qualified person, in this case the school's Chair of Governors) or the personal data exemption in section 40(2) of FOIA.


Health

The Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) has published reports setting out the conclusions of a review by the Health Group Internal Audit service. The review looked at two procurement exercises that the CQC carried out in 2013, which resulted in contracts being awarded to McKinsey and Company.


Fundraising

The FRSB, IoF, and PFRA have announced plans for more robust standards in fundraising. The first steps in this plan are:

  • Appoint an independent chair of Standards Committee, which oversees fundraising standards, to strengthen self-regulation;
  • Strengthen the current Code of Fundraising Practice based on the issues of public concern identified in the FRSB interim investigation report to be published this week;
  • Review the practice of buying, sharing or selling of data between charities, with the intention of tightening this even further;
  • Monitor ongoing concerns / complaints about the issues raised within the investigation;
  • Investigate the feasibility of a sector wide mystery shopping programme across a range of methods and charities, to drive up standards and drive out any rogue practices;

Place greater emphasis on making the public aware that fundraising is regulated and that they can raise their concerns.

Separately, the FRSB has announced it will investigate allegations made in the Mail on Sunday this weekend.

The PFRA has signed its 100th site management agreement.


Stephen Lloyd Awards

BWB's inspirational former senior partner, Stephen Lloyd, died last summer. Last Friday, Dr Sam Wells, the vicar of St Martin in the Fields presented Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. His theme was music and he talked about Stephen Lloyd’s memorial service. Dr Wells described Stephen as a "much loved man... taking his place in the heavenly choir, adding his unique tenor to that of the angels".

The Stephen Lloyd Awards has been set up in Stephen's memory to nurture projects with the potential to achieve systematic social change. A shortlist of applicants has been finalised and the winner of the first award will be decided on 9 July.

An evening of opera, Songs on a Summer's Night, is to be held on 13 July at the Athenaeum Club in aid of the awards. Please click here for more information.


Christine Rigby photo

Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

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+44(0)20 7551 7712

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c.rigby@bwbllp.com
View full information about Christine Rigby

Posted on 10/06/2015 in Legal Updates

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