BWB highlights

2016 Act fundraising requirements

BWB has been told by the Fundraising Regulator that it will give charities a “grace period” of 5 months, to 31st March 2017, to ensure existing agreements are updated to include the requirements being introduced on 1st Nov by the 2016 Act.
See today's Briefing for more.


 

At a glance

The Charity Commission has launched a consultation on draft revised guidance for serious incident reporting.

The Charity Tribunal has upheld a decision of the Charity Commission to remove The 1Click Charitable Trust from the register of charities.

The government has announced plans to make company directors personally liable for fines under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

New Philanthropy Capital has published a new report “Freeing up Health Analysis”.

The Prime Minister and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid have announced a £40 million homelessness prevention programme.


Charity Commission

Consultation – serious incident reporting

The Commission has launched a consultation on draft revised guidance for serious incident reporting. The full consultation document and a summary document (which includes the specific questions the Commission is looking for answer to) are both available on the Commission’s website. The consultation closes on 12 January 2017.

Inquiry Report

The Commission has published its Inquiry Report into Durand Education Trust (1136362, ‘DET’): a charity providing support to Durand Academy Trust (‘DAT’) (an exempt charity). The inquiry was opened following scrutiny over the charity and connected entities by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) in January 2015. The inquiry examined the governance of the charity and trustee decision making, in particular relating to a contract awarded in 2012 to a service company owned by the then executive head teacher of Durand Academy who was also a trustee of DET and DAT at the time the contract was awarded.

Interim Manager Appointment

The Commission has announced that it has appointed an interim manager (IM) to the charity Muslim Aid, which has been under inquiry since November 2013. The IM has been appointed to review the governance infrastructure and the charity’s financial controls in relation to its domestic and international operations.

Fraud

The Charity Commission, in collaboration with members of the Charity Sector Counter Fraud Group, has today launched www.charitiesagainstfraud.org.uk, a new website dedicated to helping charities in the fight against fraud. It provides an initial point of reference for trustees, staff and volunteers who want to find out more about tackling fraud in their charity, and includes guidance, top tips, case studies, as well as signposting users to other organisations tackling charity fraud.

CC News

The latest edition of CC News has been published.

Accounts reminder

The Commission has issued a reminder to charities to file their accounts on time, announcing that over 1,500 charities with an income of over £250,000 and a financial year ending 31 December 2015 still need to file their accounts by 31 October 2016.


 

Charity law cases

The Charity Tribunal has upheld a decision of the Charity Commission to remove a charity (The 1Click Charitable Trust) from the register of charities. The Commission removed it on grounds of negligible charitable activity and income below the registration threshold.

There are two new Charity Tribunal appeals:

  • One brought by Cambridge Islamic College has been stayed pending the outcome of a Charity Commission internal review.
  • The other has been brought by Jacob Plitnick – no other information available yet.

Also see under Northern Ireland below.


 

General

The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, has announced that the first Local Charities Day will take place on 16 December.

The Government is seeking a grant maker to deliver £3m of Tampon Tax funding through a funding programme for charities working with disadvantaged women and girls. The successful applicant will be able to offer a level of match funding which must already be in place and be able to deliver the funding programme and commit the full amount by the end of the financial year.

Lord Hodgson has submitted this evidence to the House of Lords Charities Committee. Civil Society Media reports it includes suggestions to “rethink” charitable status.


 

Brexit

High Court case

Reuters reports that in the High Court on 18 October 2016, at a hearing to decide the process for triggering Article 50, the government indicated that MPs will be able to vote on the Brexit deal.

The role of Parliament

The House of Lords EU Committee has published a report urging that Parliament should be actively involved in scrutinising the forthcoming negotiations on Brexit as they happen – rather than after decisions have been taken, as proposed by the Government. Key findings of the report are as follows:

  • It would be in the interests of Government, Parliament and the public for Parliament to vote on the Government's Brexit negotiation guidelines before Article 50 is triggered.
  • Too much is at stake – including many key aspects of domestic policy – for Ministers and officials to be allowed to take decisions behind closed doors, without parliamentary and democratic scrutiny.
  • Allowing Parliament to provide timely and constructive commentary throughout the negotiations would increase the likelihood of Parliament and the public accepting the final deal.

Also see under Health, Environment, International Development and Procurement below.


 

Fundraising

2016 Act fundraising requirements

BWB has been told by the Fundraising Regulator that it will give charities a “grace period” of 5 months, to 31st March 2017, to get existing agreements updated to include the requirements being introduced on 1st Nov by the 2016 Act. See last week's BWB Briefing here for a summary of what these are. We understand the Fundraising Regulator will be publishing some FAQs on its website by the end of this week.

Fundraising Preference Service (FPS)

BWB submitted a detailed response to the most recent consultation about the FPS. See here for a copy.

MOU between the FR and the Information Commissioner’s Office

See here for what is covered by the MOU.

Fundraising survey

Civil Society Media reports the number of people reporting that intrusive fundraising stops them from giving to charity has fallen by ten percentage points over an 18-month period, according to latest data from nfpSynergy.

Legacies

This Law Society Gazette article quotes research carried out by Remember a Charity into the importance of solicitors raising the issue of legacies with clients when drafting wills.


 

Social finance

Civil Society Media reports Social Investment Business has said that the Minister’s predicted uptake of social impact bonds being £1bn was unrealistic.

FCA updates consumer credit information sheets

On 18 October 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on a webpage that it has updated the following consumer credit information sheets: The information sheets should be provided to consumers who are notified that they are in arrears or default. This is required by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (section 86A).

Open Europe report on UK financial services after Brexit

On 17 October 2016, Open Europe published a report which analyses the operation of the existing passporting regime for financial services. It also considers potential alternatives to passporting, such as bespoke agreements, equivalence and local arrangements. It considers the potential impact of the loss of passporting post-Brexit and the availability of alternative arrangements in the wholesale and investment banking, asset management and insurance sectors.

On 2nd Nov, BWB is hosting The Social Investment Academy. See here for details.


Social impact

Michael Norton has written this article about social impact and why it is important.


 

Social enterprise

See this blog about a recent Philanthropy Impact event in the Netherlands about turning charities into social enterprises.


 

Education

See this written ministerial statement by Education Secretary Justine Greening on primary education.


 

Health

The Department of Health has published a summary of the Public Contract Regulations 2015 requirements for NHS commissioners and those supporting them with their procurement of healthcare services. It should be read alongside the Cabinet Office EU procurement directives and the UK regulations guidance on the Light Touch Regime for Health, Social, Education and certain other services.

New Philanthropy Capital has published a new report “Freeing up Health Analysis”. Based on the precedent of the Justice Data Lab, the report argues that relevant government departments should adopt a data labs model to enable charities to better understand the impact of their services on people’s health. This would allow the whole health sector to learn what works, and would help to build more effective and efficient services.

This article by Public Finance considers the prognosis for the NHS in a post-Brexit world, including critical areas of research, innovation, budgets, employment and clinical trials.


 

Homelessness

The Prime Minister and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid have announced a £40 million homelessness prevention programme.


 

Faith based organisations

Inter Faith Week this year will take place 13 to 20 November.


 

Environment

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has launched a short inquiry on Brexit: environment and climate change. The inquiry begins with a public meeting on Wednesday, 26 October, at which experts will give evidence on how environmental protection can be enforced when the UK leaves the EU and what impact the Great Repeal Bill may have on the environmental sector. The Committee will also hear from NGOs about the future of environmental protection after Brexit. No public call for evidence will be issued as part of this inquiry, though the Committee will be interested to receive the views of stakeholders on various issues.


 

International development

Bond has published this summary of a panel discussion last week between development experts and members to discuss a range of Brexit-related issues, from the government's rhetoric of "Global Britain" to the impact on trade and migration in developing countries.


 

Accounting

Charity Finance Group has publicised concerns that proposed changes to SORP would mean a loss of anonymity for some donors.


 

Data protection

On Sunday the government announced that from spring 2017 it is changing the law so that company directors can each be fined up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office, if they or the company they are a director of is found to be in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. It seems a key objective is being able to fine directors if a company avoids paying a fine by going into liquidation, but as there’s very little information about this available yet, it is not clear whether directors could be fined in other situations. We will update you via the BWB Briefing as more information about this becomes available. For initial comment from the Information Commissioner see here.


 

Freedom of information

See this update article by BWB’s Melanie Carter.


 

Procurement

The government has published a new procurement policy note, PPN 09/16 Procuring Growth Balanced Scorecard. This refers to new guidance, which sets out how to adopt “a balanced scorecard approach” and serves as a tool to guide public procurers in balancing relatively straightforward matters such as cost against more complex issues such as social and wider economic considerations when designing their procurement approaches.

On 14 October 2016, the European Commission published a speech by Margrethe Vestager, Competition Commissioner, in which she discussed the use of the state aid rules to support investment and protect competition. PLC says the Commissioner explained the importance of ensuring that member states are able to make vital investments in, for example, new energy plants and transport infrastructure. She noted how a large amount of state funding falls outside the state aid rules as it either does not constitute state aid or falls within the General Block Exemption Regulation.


 

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

This BWB update summarises the latest developments.


 

Business Complaints Scheme

The Enterprise Act 2016 established the Small Business Commissioner to support small businesses, in particular, in relation to disputes with larger businesses. As part of this role, the Commissioner is to provide an in-house complaints handling function. This will allow a small business supplier to seek a decision from the Commissioner about a payment issue with a larger business with which the small business has a previous, current or potential supply relationship. There is now a consultation on how the Commissioner should operate the complaints scheme, and seeking views on certain aspects of the scheme. For instance, how a small business's headcount should be calculated for the purposes of determining its eligibility to use the scheme. The consultation closes on 7 December 2016.


 

Scotland

OSCR has published new Guidance for Village Halls governed by a Deed of Trust, which includes information on how to incorporate and reorganise.


 

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) has lost an appeal against a judgment that a single trustee can challenge it in court, following an intervention by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland. The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland ruled that the Charity Tribunal had made a mistake when it said that a single trustee could not appeal against a decision of CCNI to hold a statutory inquiry into a charity. One of the trustees and a former chairman of the Disabled Police Officers Association of Northern Ireland, appealed against CCNI’s decision to conduct an inquiry into the charity, and to suspend him as a trustee, which took place in 2014. The Charity Tribunal ruled against his application, on the basis that the whole trustee board was required to bring an appeal, not a single trustee. But the Attorney General for Northern Ireland intervened saying that the tribunal had misinterpreted the law. The decision hinged on the interpretation of the word “persons” in legislation, and whether that referred to one person, several people, or a group of people acting together. The Court of Appeal held that one person could bring an appeal, and dismissed CCNI’s appeal. For more see this Civil Society Media summary of the case.

CCNI has launched its first customer satisfaction survey.

 

 

 

 


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Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

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Posted on 25/10/2016 in Legal Updates

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