BWB Highlights

BWB is proud to be hosting the inaugural ESELA Conference on 17 June. See below for more details.

The new international tax “Common Reporting Standard” will trigger reporting obligations for certain types of charities. See today’s Briefing for details of an HMRC information event coming up later this month.

This briefing covers the two week period from 23rd May to 3rd June.

At a glance

Mobile phone users can now register their mobile numbers with a new “text TPS” service by sending a free text.

Social Enterprise UK has published “Procuring for Good”, a new report about how councils in England are using the Public Services (Social Value) Act.

CAF has published its annual UK Giving report.

Charity Commission

Consultation on new disqualification power

At the end of May the Commission launched its three month public consultation on its new disqualification power. The main policy paper can be found here. The paper sets out the tests and conditions that will need to be met for the Commission to use the power. The consultation will run until 5pm on Monday 22 August; there is an online response form. There is also an accompanying press release which can be found here.

Case report – Gladstone’s Library

The Commission has published a case report into the charity Gladstone’s Library (701399) . The charity had issued a press release in response to UKIP using a picture of Gladstone’s Library and the statue of Gladstone which stands in front of it and a UKIP candidate claiming in a tweet that Gladstone’s Library was supporting UKIP. The press release stated that the charity had not given permission for the photos to be used and also included a quote that “The policies and principles on which UKIP is based are far from the ideals of William Gladstone”.  The Commission’s view was that the charity was right to assert the lack of permission for use of the photographs; however the expression of a view of UKIP was a political statement and unintentionally drew the charity into a party political debate. As a result of the Commission’s advice, the charity replaced the press release with a factual statement on its website to clarify the position.

Inquiry Report – Gresley Old Hall Community Welfare

The Commission has issued an inquiry report into Gresley Old Hall Community Welfare (520436), the latest in its series of reports into “double defaulter charities”:

Board member re-appointments and recruitment

Cabinet Office has announced four re-appointments to the Commission’s Board (Eryl Besse, Orlando Fraser QC, Tony Leifer and Gwythian Prins) and the recruitment of three new Board members. The Commission issued a statement in response to the announcement and also issued an update regarding the membership of the Board’s sub-committees.


The Commission has published extracts of a recent speech by William Shawcross which discusses trusteeship in the context of recent charity headlines.

Consultation on revised CC32

The Commission has launched a consultation on changes to its guidance on the external scrutiny of charity accounts, “Direction and guidance for independent examination, CC32”.

Charities registered with the HCA

The Homes and Community Agency (HCA), in its role as social housing regulator, has published a consultation on changes to its registration criteria and use of powers following the new Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 and Housing and Planning Act 2016. The consultation proposes:

  • In relation to new providers of social housing, making changes to the HCA registration criteria
  • In relation to existing providers already registered with the HCA, introducing new registration criteria which will apply to any restructuring

The consultation closes on 22 July 2016 and responses should be emailed


ICSA has published a consultation on the practice of minuting board meetings. The consultation paper notes that board meetings are only lightly regulated by statute and by regulation and asks for views on the principal function of meeting minutes.  The consultation closes on Friday 24th June.

Also see item under Scotland below.

New reporting requirements for charities funded by investments - Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

From May 2017, some organisations will need to make reports to HMRC under the new ‘Common Reporting Standard,’ or CRS. This new international tax transparency legislation, which is aimed at preventing tax evasion, will require UK ‘financial institutions’ to undertake due diligence on their account holders and to make reports to HMRC. A charity may fall within the definition of “financial institution” if its income is predominantly from financial assets and at least some investments are managed externally under discretionary authority. Endowed charities and those which receive a large portion of their income from investments are the most likely to be affected.  Those charities which are deemed to be ‘financial institutions’ may be required to perform due diligence on their account holders and will need to report specific information, such as details of beneficiaries and the gifts they received, to HMRC. HMRC is running an event on 29 June 2016 in London aimed at charities and their advisers who are affected by CRS and other "automatic exchange of information" rules. For more background, see this BWB Briefing on the Common Reporting Standard.

New House of Lords Charities Committee

The House of Lords appointed a Select Committee on Charities on 25 May 2016 to consider issues related to sustaining the charity sector and the challenges of charity governance.  A call for evidence will be issued in due course.


CAF has published its annual UK Giving report. One of the headlines is that “Almost half of men in the UK do not support a good cause or get involved in social action in a typical month.” 

Also see items under Data Protection below.


193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups will receive the Queen’s Award this year.   For the full list see here.

The government has invested a further £90m in the Coastal Communities Fund, which is open to applications from charities and social enterprises in seaside areas.

Social finance

The Financial Conduct Authority’s regulation round-up, which can be found here, includes, amongst other things:

  • General: The FCA is launching a new website in June, which is aimed at being more accessible to users. There will be new hub pages for each sector including the latest news, publications, events, policy information and updates. There will also be a new search tool.
  • Authorised investment schemes: the FCA are consulting on new UCITS regulation and changes to the handbook.
  • Credit Unions: the FCA has published webcasts which aim to help firms improve standards of governance by giving practical, real-life examples.

The FCA has also published its policy update, which sets out the FCA's future policy publications schedule.

Social enterprise

See item under Health below.

Social impact

See item below under Sport.

Social Value Act

Social Enterprise UK has published “Procuring for Good”, a new report about how councils in England are using the Public Services (Social Value) Act.  Findings from Freedom of Information requests sent to all local authorities in England show that 1 in 3 councils (33%) now routinely consider social value in their procurement and commissioning, and 1 in 4 (24%) have a social value policy.


The Department for Education has published guidance (which will commence on 5 September 2016) which:

  • Sets out the legal duties that schools and colleges must comply with in order to keep children safe and should be read alongside statutory guidance, Working together to safeguard children
  • Sets out at Annex H a table of changes. These include clarification of the meaning of "must have regard to" and amendments to reflect the change in the requirement for DBS checks on maintained school governors.


See this blog from Nick Temple of Social Enterprise UK about the recent VCSE review.

International development

See this government announcement about the first ever World Humanitarian Summit which took place last month.


See here for a summary of the recent Sport Summit 2016.  The theme was “Evidencing Impact and Using Data”, and a variety of speakers talked about how they use evidence to demonstrate impact and how to practically use data to demonstrate the value of sport and recreation.  

Also see below under Assets of community value.

Assets of community value

In a recent case, a Tribunal has held that a privately owned golf course should not be listed as an asset of community value.  A key factor was that the golf course had no club house building.  For more see Haddon Property Development Ltd v Cheshire East Council and another [2016] UKFTT CR-2015-0017 (GRC) (11 May 2016)

Data protection

An individual who transferred customer details of his employer to his personal email address has beenprosecuted for the offence of unlawfully obtaining data. The defendant, who worked at a waste management company in Shropshire, emailed the details of 957 clients to his personal email address as he was leaving to start a new role at a rival company. The documents contained personal information including the contact details of customers, as well as purchase history and commercially sensitive information. Mr Lloyd, who pleaded guilty to the offence under section 55 of the Data Protection Act, was fined £300, ordered to pay £405.98 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.  

Mobile phone users can now register their mobile numbers with a new “text TPS” service by sending a free text. The 'text-to-register' service, launched by the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Ofcom, enables mobile phone users to add their number to the TPS by texting ‘TPS’ and their email address to 78070.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published its planned priorities for preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulation. The priorities include new ICO guidance to cover the following:

  • An overview of the GDPR
  • Individuals’ rights
  • Contracts
  • Consent
  • Privacy notices code of practice

Also see below under Cloud computing.

Cloud computing

The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has published a report setting out the results of its consultation on consumer law compliance by cloud storage service providers. It found that consumers consider cloud storage services to be valuable, and that the majority are generally satisfied with the services received. However, some cloud storage providers are using contract terms and practices that the CMA is concerned could breach consumer protection law. This includes terms which purport to give service providers the right to:

  • Change the service or terms of the contract without notice, at any time, and for any reason.
  • Suspend or terminate the contract without notice for any reason.
  • Automatically renew a contract at the end of a fixed term without giving notice or withdrawal rights.
  • Exclude or unfairly limit a provider's liability under the contract.
  • Prevent consumers from bringing legal proceedings in their local courts and under their local law.


OSCR is asking anyone who is a Principal Contact for a charity to log in to OSCR online to check their details are correct.

OSCR and SCVO are hosting a free joint event about Digital Transformation and Governance on 22 June in Edinburgh, click here for more information.

Northern Ireland

CCNI’s new online charity registration form is now live. As with the previous form, only organisations which have been called forward by the Commission to apply for registration will be able to access the form.

New from Get Legal 

BWB Get Legal brings you a range of top-quality, affordable legal documents, available to download and customise to your specifications. Every document has been drafted by our expert solicitors.

Volunteers' Week is taking place until 12 June 2016. Get the most out of Volunteers' Week by ensuring you have avolunteer agreement in place.


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Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

+44(0)20 7551 7712

View full information about Christine Rigby

Posted on 08/06/2016 in Legal Updates

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