BWB Highlights

BWB recently joined forces with the Employment Related Services Association and a number of the main players in the social investment sector to identify changes which would give charities and social enterprises a fairer prospect of delivering public service contracts. See today’s Briefing for details.


At a glance

The Committee on Standards in Public Life intends to undertake a short review of ‘Ethics for Regulators’ to explore how regulators live up to the 7 principles of public life.

Civil Society Media reports the Charity Commission has updated Section 5.4 of its guidance on fundraising, CC20, to clarify that trustees must ensure that any telephone fundraising made by their charity complies with data protection and Telephone Preference Service legislation.

CAF has published research showing that the majority of people want to be kept informed about the work of charities they give money to.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published updates about plans to introduce privacy “kite marks” and the latest on EU data protection reform.


Charity Commission

Has opened new inquiries into:

Has published a report of its inquiry into The Barry Green Memorial Fund – a “double defaulting” charity


Role of regulators

The Committee on Standards in Public Life intends to undertake a short review of ‘Ethics for Regulators to explore how regulators live up to the 7 principles of public life.  The Committee will publish an overview of the issues raised in the Autumn.


Tax and VAT

HM Treasury has published this press release about “7 ways the government’s making tax simpler for charities”.


Fundraising

Civil Society Media reports the Charity Commission has updated Section 5.4 of its guidance on fundraising, CC20, to clarify that trustees must ensure that any telephone fundraising made by their charity complies with data protection and Telephone Preference Service legislation.

Following the Daily Mail’s lead article on Tuesday about charity data sharing, the Fundraising Standards Board has said it “commits to investigate allegations about charity data sharing practices”.  

CAF has published research showing that the majority of people want to be kept informed about the work of charities they give money to.


Social investment

BWB recently joined forces with the Employment Related Services Association and a number of the main players in the social investment sector. We identified desirable changes the government could make to procurement and contracting so that charities and social enterprises have a fairer prospect of delivering public service contracts. We argued, in a paper delivered to Ian Duncan Smith, that this will be critical to enabling the government to meet its manifesto commitment to halve the disability employment gap. The group drew upon the experience of the social investment market in relation to a number of recent Government programmes to come up with recommendations including:

  • Making contracts investable by adopting payment mechanisms which reflect the true cost of supporting those furthest from the labour market into employment and which incentivise movements towards work, as well as entry and progress in work.
  • Reconsidering the size and focus of contracts, particularly in relation to people with more complex needs.
  • Reducing the barrier of the ‘parent company guarantee’ which can stop charities being awarded contracts, as charities and social enterprises tend to have smaller reserves
  • Taking advantage of other provisions in the latest Public Contract Regulations 2015, for example around greater pre procurement engagement, considering fixed price contracts with a greater evaluation of the quality delivered for the price on offer and assessing how surpluses may be applied by each bidder to further the interests of stakeholders.

BWB’s David Hunter, who took part in the discussions and the drafting of the paper, said: “We were careful to frame our request to government in terms of how the changes will help them meet their policy goals and how this is possible within current legislation, rather than creating any sense the sector was seeking preferential treatment. I hope government listens as both work for charities and social enterprises in this space and availability of social investment may dry up if none of these changes are taken on board.”


Social enterprise

The CIC Regulator has updated form CIC34 (community interest company report).  

Social Enterprise UK has published the shortlist for the 2015 Social Enterprise Awards.


Education

The Department for Education has appointed the first ever mental health champion for schools.  

The Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) has held that a voluntary aided school's consultation on changes to its admission arrangements for September 2015 did not comply with the School Admissions Code as parents were unaware of the proposed changes to the arrangements. Further, the OSA considered that, although there was no evidence of unfairness in the change to the oversubscription criteria giving priority to children baptised before their first birthday, the change was unfair for those children already attending the linked infant school who did not meet the changed criteria as they had a reasonable expectation that they would obtain a place at the junior school. Therefore, the school had to consider how it could mitigate the unfairness that had been created by its changes to the admission arrangements.


Apprenticeships

Over the summer, the Government carried out a very short consultation about legislation to prevent misuse of the term apprenticeship in relation to training. The main proposal is that that Government creates an offence which would prohibit a person using the term ‘apprenticeship’ or ‘apprentice’ in relation to any course or training in England unless it is in relation to a Government funded apprenticeship. This would not affect employers who would be free to offer any training to their own employees and apprentices (including those with contracts of apprenticeship).


Health and social care

A Monitor investigation found that Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group has not breached commissioning regulations.  

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has published its report on a complaint concerning North East Lincolnshire Council's failure to reassess a resident's contribution towards her residential care costs when the value of her remaining capital fell to £23,250. The LGO found that there had been fault causing injustice. The council had failed to carry out a financial assessment when the value of C's remaining capital reached £23,250 and the final debt to the council should not have included contributions that were payable by the council once the capital fell below the threshold.


Faith based organisations

See item under Education above.


Data protections

See these blogs from the Information Commissioner’s Office about:


NCVO/BWB Conference 2015NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2015

Monday 2nd November

10% early bird discount ends 11 September

Join over 400 trustees to improve your knowledge, learn new skills and get practical tools to help you govern for maximum impact.

Prices start from £179.55 – don’t delay, book your place online now or email ncvoevents@ncvo.org.uk

 


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Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

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+44(0)20 7551 7712

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c.rigby@bwbllp.com
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Posted on 03/09/2015 in Legal Updates

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