BWB Highlights

The second reading of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill took place last week. BWB and other umbrella bodies continue to have significant concerns about certain permissions including the proposed new Warning Power and new discretionary disqualification powers. See today’s Briefing for more on the progress of the Bill from here.

The Sunday Times has published an article celebrating how many more male executives are beginning to work part-time. BWB'sSimon Steeden has been profiled as one of the leading Power Part Timers. Click here to read the coverage on our website.


At a glance

The Charity Commission has launched a consultation on a revised version of its fundraising guidance “CC20 Charities and Fundraising”. 

On Friday, NCVO hosted a summit to discuss next steps in the future of fundraising regulation and the introduction of the Fundraising Preference Service. 

Responsible Finance, formerly the Community Development Finance Association, has published “Responsible Finance, the industry in 2015”, a report highlighting the activities and trends of the growing responsible finance industry.


Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill

On Thursday last week, the Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons. See here for the Hansard record of the debate. Civil Society Media has this summary of key points made during the debate.  

BWB and other umbrella bodies such as ACEVO, BOND, CFA and DSC submitted a briefing to MPs. Please see here for the briefing BWB submitted. We continue to have grave concerns about certain permissions in the Bill including Warning Notices and discretionary disqualification. It is our view that these permissions - and others - fundamentally change the nature of the relationship between charities and the regulator, threatening the independence of charities. If you feel the same, please lobby your MP.

This is the Parliamentary briefing published by the Charity Commission ahead of the Second Reading in the House of Commons.  

The next stage is that the Public Bill Committee is inviting written evidence on the Bill. Written evidence should be submitted to scrutiny@parliament.uk by 7 January 2016.


Charity Commission

Revised fundraising guidance

Has launched a consultation on a revised version of its fundraising guidance “CC20 Charities and Fundraising”. The revised states more clearly than ever that trustees must take responsibility for the fundraising undertaken by their charities. The draft guidance identifies these 6 key principles to help trustees fulfil their responsibilities for their charity’s fundraising:

  • Plan effectively
  • Supervise your fundraisers
  • Protect the charity’s reputation and other assets
  • Comply with fundraising law
  • Follow recognised standards
  • Be open and accountable

The consultation closes on 11 February 2016.

New governance framework

The Charity Commission has published a revised and updated governance framework following an independent review. 

Inquiries

The Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the charity the Ipswich Kurdish Islamic Cultural Centre (registered charity number 1149580). The inquiry was opened after a compliance visit, and inspection to the charity in March 2015 identified that the trustees were unable to provide records to evidence all of the charity’s income and expenditure and that the charity had inadequate internal financial controls.  The commission’s concerns were so serious that it has exercised its legal powers to direct under section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 that the trustees undertake specific actions and address other regulatory concerns identified from the visit. These include concerns around late filing of statutory returns and a sizeable section of the charity’s assets being loaned to 2 members of the local community.

Other Commission publications

Has published:


Statements/speech by William Shawcross, Chair of the Charity Commission

See here for his statement welcoming support for the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill.

See here for a speech given at a New Philanthropy Capital event last week. 


Governance

ACEVO is working with the Institute of Directors (“IOD”) on a course to help charity trustees. The IOD is adapting its training course for company directors to help charity trustees.


Fundraising

Also see item under Charity Commission.

Fundraising summit

On Friday, NCVO hosted a key summit to discuss next steps in the future of fundraising regulation and the introduction of the Fundraising Preference Service.  This NCVO blog includes links to the main speeches and a link to a recording of the whole summit. The key takeaway points were:

  • Lord Grade, Chair of the new Fundraising Regulator, said he expects to appoint a Chief Executive by Christmas and that the new Regulator has to be up and running by the end of 2016.
  • George Kidd, Chair of the Direct Marketing Association, has agreed  to Chair a working party on how to establish the Fundraising Preference Service. 

If you have time to listen to the last hour or so of the summit (starting with when Lord Grade speaks) you will get a really good feel for the priorities of Lord Grade and George Kidd, both of whom will play a key role in this, and also a good feel for concerns raised by charities.

Meanwhile NAVCA has called for plans for new regulation for fundraising to be halted. They say that no further steps towards implementing the Etherington Review proposals should take place until smaller charities have been fully consulted.  

Civil Society Media reports Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society, as saying in Parliament that the new fundraising self-regulator will need to consider exemptions for small charities from the Fundraising Preference Service. 


Data protection

recent case serves as a reminder there is the potential for personal liability for company directors under the Data Protection Act 1988.  In this case, the director of a company which had failed to register under the DPA was fined £534, ordered to pay £489.08 prosecution costs and £53 victim surcharge.  The company itself was also  fined £650, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £492.78 and £65 victim surcharge.  

The Information Commissioner’s Office and Ofcom have published an update on their joint action plan to tackle nuisance calls and texts.


Public services

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has published a new online guide for providers of public services – whether outsourced or in-house – to promote high ethical standards. The guide follows up on the Committee’s earlier report which established the importance of common standards for all those delivering public services.

Big Society Capital has published this summary of an event last week about new approaches to integration and collaboration in public service markets.  

In November, the winners of this year’s Compact Awards were announced.


Social finance

Responsible Finance, formerly the Community Development Finance Association, has published“Responsible Finance, the industry in 2015”, a report highlighting the activities and trends of the growing responsible finance industry.


Social enterprise

See here for a list of Community Interest companies registered in November 2015.  

Interestingly, the CIC Regulator has a comprehensive series of MOUs in place with other regulators/sector bodies – see here for the full list.  

During November the CIC Regulator updated some parts of its guidance and forms.  The “Last updated” link on this webpage describes the changes to guidance  and on this webpage describes the changes to forms.


Social action initiatives

Last week, on Giving Tuesday, the Cabinet Office announced these measures to support and incentivise people to get involved in social action:

  • Government funding of up to £100,000 to ITV’s Text Santa charity appeal to encourage people to donate or search for volunteering opportunities;
  • £15 million to support a new phase of the Centre for Social Action; and
  • A new £500,000 fund to support Community Organisers to mobilise residents to “take action on the issues they care about”.

Education

See here for a speech by the Minister for Childcare and Education, Sam Gyimah, outlining existing and planned work on mental health in schools.  

The Department for Education has published a new Governance handbook, which replaces the Governor's handbook that was published in January 2014 .  

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper, School funding: Pupil PremiumThe paper covers the policy behind the introduction in England of the pupil premium in 2011 to provide additional school funding for certain children. It also looks at how the pupil premium policy has developed over time.


Scotland

The Scottish Charity Regulator, OSCR, is contacting a small random sample of charities in two specific categories:

  • Charities entered in the Register in the past two years
  • Charities returning a ‘nil’ income/expenditure figure in their last two years’ accounts.

If your charity falls into one of these categories and you haven’t been contacted by OSCR but would like a survey you can contact OSCR at info@oscr.org.ukfor a survey form.  Forms must be completed by 5pm on 10 December.  

OSCR has published an interim report on its inquiry into the charity Jamiat Ittihad-Ul-Muslimin (Muslim Mission) SC013142, known to the general public as ‘Glasgow Central Mosque’. 


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Christine Rigby

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Posted on 09/12/2015 in Legal Updates

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