BWB Highlights

For further reflections on what the EU referendum result means for our sector, today's briefing includes a link to a summary of key points from BWB's seminar/discussion held last week.

The BWB Briefing is taking a short break and will return the week beginning 8th August.

At a glance

The Cabinet Office has published a policy paper on its work to support social action.

New Philanthropy Capital has published “Boldness in times of change”, the first report of its State of the Sector programme.

The European Commission has now adopted a new Privacy Shield framework for EU-US personal data transfers in a commercial context.

The Care Quality Commission and the National Data Guardian for Health and Care have published a review of data security, consent and opt-outs in relation to the provision of health and care services.

Government reshuffle

Rob Wilson has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Greg Clark is Minister of the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (a combination of the former BIS and DECC). The department brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change.


Exit process

David Davis is the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and Liam Fox is the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Sector implications


  • here for the headline points from the seminar held at BWB last Wednesday.
  • here for a briefing from BWB’s Employment department on the likely implications for employment law

Charity Commission

Annual Report

We reported that this had been published in last week’s website review:

Some points of interest from the report:

  • Inquiries – 53 new inquiries were opened during the financial year, down from 103 in the previous year. The commission says that the decrease is primarily due to fewer “double defaulter” inquiries being opened, as well as more cases being dealt with as compliance cases, outside inquiry.
  • Registrations – are up 14% on the previous year, with CIO registrations up 29%
  • New online applications – from launch until 31 March, 20% of the 70 applications were assessed as ready for immediate registration compared to 5% under the old process.
  • Communication with trustees – the commission is working on a new online charity portal which will allow it to send targeted guidance to trustees e.g. they would get sent the reporting requirements for their size of charity. Trustees will also be able to get notifications when commission guidance changes
  • Finance – the commission received an increase in funding for the first time in five years, following four years of funding cuts.

Charity Commission response to recommendations of PACAC report  

The commission has published its response to recommendations of the PACAC report into the collapse of Kids Company:

The commission agreed with recommendations which related to: updating its guidance on reserves, revising guidance to auditors, (the commission has already carried out these two recommendations), encouraging Trustees to ensure that boards include those with experience relevant to the charity’s activities, and doing more to make the public aware of the Charity Commission’s regulatory role.  

However, the commission disagreed with two of the report’s recommendations. The first was that, in relation to donor complaints, the commission must communicate any advice to a charity in writing, even if there has been no illegal activity on the part of a charity. The commission said it does not currently have the resources or technology to make or keep detailed written copies of all these queries and their responses (although it is looking at digital solutions that could help to address this issue). The second recommendation the commission disagreed with was that the commission should “restore the proper title of its Board members, so they are known as the Charity Commissioners.”  The commission could not agree to this because the Board is constituted by statutory provisions that it cannot alter, but it did agree to raise the issue with the Cabinet Office.

Inquiry Reports – “double defaulters”

The commission has published two further inquiry reports into “double defaulting” charities: Bahr (1142430) and Chevras Machzikei Mesifta (1104022).

House of Lords Charities Select Committee

Civil Society Media has published this article summarising evidence given to the Committee last week by representatives of NCVO, ACEVO and ACF.


The Cabinet Office has published a policy paper on its work to support social action.

Rob Wilson has announced plans for a Local Charities Day – “a celebration of local charities and community groups” that will take place later this year.

A range of sector organisations have penned an open letter to government about changes to commissioning/procurement processes which will “ensure that the expertise and innovation of charities and social enterprises are not frozen out of the bidding process”.  

New Philanthropy Capital has published  “Boldness in times of change”, the first report of its State of the Sector programme.  

The House of Commons Library has published a guide to sources of statistics on charities


Telephone fundraising

This ICO update on nuisance calls includes some visual displays of nuisance calls by type eg accident claims, call blocked.  It is interesting to compare some of the other types of call with the relatively small amounts shown for charity calls. 

Data protection

Also see under telephone fundraising above.

EU/US data transfers

Data transfers between the EU and the US used to be carried out under a “Safe Harbor” framework under which an organisations in the EU could legally transfer data to a recipient in the US provided the US entity signed up to the Safe Harbor regime. However, in 2015 in the Schrems case the European Court of Justice invalidated that regime because of concerns about the effect of intrusive US surveillance. The European Commission has now adopted a new Privacy Shield framework for EU-US personal data transfers in a commercial context. The new regime has been negotiated by the Commission and the US Department of Commerce (DOC).  The DOC will begin accepting Privacy Shield self-certifications from US companies from 1 August 2016.

New Information Commissioner

Elizabeth Denham has been confirmed as the UK’s new Information Commissioner.  

UK/France co-operation

The UK-France Data Innovation Taskforce has published a series of recommendations on how the two countries could work together to use data to stimulate economic growth and improve society.  

Also see under Health and social care below.

Social finance

IVAR (the Institute for Voluntary Action Research) has published two briefings on small charities and social investment:

Social impact

See report mentioned under General above.

Social enterprise

See here for the latest newsletter from ESELA (the European Social Enterprise Law Association). 

Also, see item under Scotland below.



During one of his last visits as Prime Minister, David Cameron announced 31 new free schools.  

Young adult services

Social Finance, Newcastle City Council, and Impetus-PEF have launched  “New Insights Into Improving Outcomes for At Risk Youth: The Newcastle Experience”, a rigorous analysis of 8000 17-19 year olds in Newcastle.

Health and social care

The Care Quality Commission and the National Data Guardian for Health and Care have published a review of data security, consent and opt-outs in relation to the provision of health and care services. The review makes various recommendations to the Secretary of State for Health to strengthen the safeguards for keeping health and care information secure to ensure the public can make informed choices about how their data is used.


The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has published FAQs for social enterprises that are thinking about becoming a charity. The Social Enterprise in Scotland Census 2015 found that there are around 3,500 Social Enterprises registered as charities in Scotland.

OSCR’s latest blogpost is by Julie Hutchison of Standard Life Wealth on “How to prepare for appointing a charity investment manager”.

OSCR has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2015-16.

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has announced that it has launched an inquiry into the charity Newry and Mourne Carers Ltd. The inquiry will be addressing concerns regarding the governance and financial control of the organisation, including investigating the potential misapplication of charity property.

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Disclaimer - The information contained in this update is not intended to be a comprehensive update - it is our selection of the website announcements made in the week up to last Friday which we think will be of interest to charities and social enterprises. The content is necessarily of a general nature - specific advice should always be sought for specific situations.

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Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

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Posted on 19/07/2016 in Legal Updates

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