BWB highlights

The IOF, in partnership with BWB and More, has published a new GDPR guide for major donor fundraisers which covers, amongst other topics, how charities can “use publicly available data to help them better understand their donors”. See today’s Briefing for details.

This Safeguarding Update issued last week by BWB summarises recent developments and suggests key action points for charities in the light of the changing safeguarding landscape.


At a glance

The Parliamentary International Development Committee has launched an inquiry on sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector.

Theresa May has asked Elizabeth Corley to lead an industry taskforce on impact investment.

The Care Quality Commission has carried out a review of the system of services that support children and young people’s mental health.

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has launched a new tool that will rate universities by subject.

The government has published its “Culture is Digital” report.


Charity Commission

Safeguarding

Following the safeguarding summit on Monday 5 March focussing on international charities, and the publication of speeches and other related announcements from that event, a further press release was issued on Tuesday 6th March, following a second safeguarding summit hosted by the Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This second summit brought together charities working in the UK, regulators and other agencies, as well as independent safeguarding experts, and looked at the specific safeguarding challenges facing charities working in the UK.

Attendees agreed to develop action plans for each of four themes ( 1) leadership, culture and values, 2) law, regulation and the statutory framework, 3) capacity and capability in charities around safeguarding and 4) responsibilities and reporting, accountability and transparency) and reconvene in two months’ time, to commit to implementation and discuss early progress in delivering change. Charity regulators in Scotland and Northern Ireland will be leading their own action plans. This work will feed into a wider safeguarding conference planned for later in the year.

This Safeguarding Update issued last week by BWB summarises recent developments and suggests key action points for charities in the light of the changing safeguarding landscape.

New inquiries

The Commission has announced that it has opened an inquiry into Kenya Community Support Network (1104003) a charity with objects including relieving poverty, sickness and distress among Kenyans and promoting research into the conditions of life of Kenyans. The case started with a complaint to the Commission raising concerns about the charity’s expenditure and whether it was in furtherance of the charity’s objects. This has led to concerns that the charity is being used for significant private benefit, that there is mismanagement and misconduct in the administration of the charity, and that the charity is not carrying out activities in furtherance of its charitable objects for the public benefit. The Commission has already taken action to protect the charity’s assets by restricting the transactions from the charity’s bank account. As a result, the charity cannot make payments or part with any of the charity’s assets without the Commission’s prior written approval.

The Commission has also announced that it has opened an inquiry into The Great Generation (1120349) a charity operating in Brazil, India, Jordan, Sri Lanka and Uganda and working with individuals, schools and businesses to help achieve the millennium development goals, specifically to relieve poverty. The charity was previously included in the class inquiry into “double defaulting” charities which the Commission had opened to examine charities that had repeatedly defaulted on their accounting obligations. The charity ceased to be a part of the class inquiry when it submitted the outstanding documents. However, the trustees again failed to file the statutory accounting information on time for the financial year ending 31 December 2016 so the Commission has now opened a new inquiry. In addition to obtaining the overdue accounting information the inquiry will seek to ensure that the trustees comply with their legal duties to file future account submissions within the statutory deadlines and examine broader aspects of the charity’s administration and management to ensure it is being properly managed by the trustees.

CC decisions collection

The Commission has updated its webpage listing reports, decisions, alerts and statements with recent cases.


Charity names

See under Charity law cases below.


Charity law cases

There is a new appeal in the First Tier Charity Tribunal relating to a dispute about similar charity names. The charities are not named. The appellant Vanessa Hill is a trustee of an unregistered charity (A). Another charity (B) with a similar name to Charity A has been directed by the Charity Commission to change its name to a specified new name. Ms Hill is appealing against that direction and asking the Tribunal to specify that a different name must be adopted by Charity B. The Charity Commission is resisting the appeal (a) on the grounds that the Tribunal does not have power to amend the Direction and (b) the notice of appeal was filed out of time. The Commission has however offered to treat the application to the Tribunal as an application to the Commission for a fresh Direction.


Safeguarding

See above under Charity Commission.

The Parliamentary International Development Committee has launched an inquiry on sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector. The deadline for written submissions is Friday 6 April 2018. The Committee has drawn up a draft Bill – provisionally entitled the International Development (Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups) Bill – to provoke debate and invites witnesses to comment and feedback on its provisions. The draft Bill, and explanatory notes, can be seen here. The inquiry homepage includes further detail about what the committee will look into.

Civil Society Media reports Tracey Crouch has said the Cabinet Office is looking to tighten-up its grant standards following the safeguarding scandal.

The Public Accounts Committee will examine Modernising the Disclosure and Barring Service on Monday 19 March 2018. There is a very short time limit for submitting evidence – Tuesday 13 March. But NCVO will be submitting its own response – see here.


Data protection

The Baptist Union has published data protection advice for its churches. It includes general guidance, FAQs, a template data protection policy and an Information Audit Template.

Also see under Fundraising below.


Brexit

EU Withdrawal Bill

On 8 March 2018, the government published new sample statutory instruments that purport to illustrate how its amending powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 may be used. The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) has also published a covering note that discusses the projected functions of each of the samples.

DExEU has emphasised that these do not represent draft legislation for consultation and are to be considered as illustrative examples only. There may be relatively little value, therefore, in speculating whether the illustrated examples will ultimately be incorporated in draft statutory instruments made under the EUWB or in how advanced each department's legislative preparation for Brexit is.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill continues its committee stage, line by line examination of the bill, in the House of Lords today Monday 12 March. Members will look at Clause 7 (Dealing with deficiencies arising from withdrawal) and discuss a range of suggested changes. Subjects are expected to include protections for clinical trials, data protection, maternity and parental rights, devolved administrations and transport.

Environment

On 8 March 2018, the European Commission published two Notices to Stakeholders reminding them of the legal repercussions of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU (Brexit), on EU rules for:

  • Trade in protected species of wild fauna and flora, which implements CITES international convention obligations principally under Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein. UK imports and exports of regulated species will require prior presentation of EU permits, and
  • The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), which is a voluntary EU initiative to improve environmental performance and reporting. The UK will no longer be able to award EMAS certification and the logo can no longer be used. UK companies and other organisations may be able to register as non-EU bodies.

The Notices are part of a series that the Commission is publishing.

EU citizens and settled status

New Philanthropy Capital has published a short position paper on settled status which outlines five key areas the Transition Advice Fund (TAF) would like to see reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK Government and the EU. The TAF aims to ensure that EU citizens living in the UK can secure their right to settled status by helping the government design a system that works for everyone, and by making sure information and support is available to help people navigate the new system.


Fundraising

The IOF, in partnership with BWB and More, has published a new GDPR guide for major donor fundraisers which covers, amongst other topics, how charities can “use publicly available data to help them better understand their donors”. See here for a copy of “Connecting people to causes: A practical guide to fundraising”. BWB’s Lawrie Simanowitz comments “This guide addresses in a clear and accessible way, one of the most challenging areas of regulation for charity fundraisers – how to comply with data protection law when researching donors. It is an area that has recently become fraught with uncertainty, and BWB has been delighted to assist the IoF in producing this route map through this tricky area.”


Education

See item under health and social care below about mental health services for children and young people.
The Education Secretary has pledged to tackle teachers’ workloads.

Higher education

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has launched a new tool that will rate universities either gold, silver or bronze by subject - holding them to account for the quality of their teaching, learning environment and graduate outcomes. The Department for Education is consulting for 10 weeks on the design of the new framework. This will run alongside a pilot of the scheme, which has 50 universities and colleges taking part, including the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), De Montfort University and the Open University.


Health and social care

The Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced a £300 million competitive fund to help the UK prepare for the challenge of an ageing society.

The Department of Health and Social Care has published the government's response to the Competition and Markets Authority's market study into the supply of care home services for the elderly in the UK, published in November 2017. The government has said it intends to publish a green paper by summer 2018, setting out plans for improving care and support for older people and how to tackle the challenge of an ageing population.

The Care Quality Commission has carried out a review of the system of services that support children and young people’s mental health. The report’s recommendations include:

  • Government, employers and schools should make sure that everyone that works, volunteers or cares for children and young people are trained to encourage good mental health and offer basic mental health support
  • Ofsted should look at what schools are doing to support children and young people’s mental health when they inspect.

Social finance

Theresa May has asked Elizabeth Corley, Vice-Chair of Allianz Global Investors, to lead an industry taskforce on impact investment. The taskforce will progress the recommendations in the ‘Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK’ report. The Prime Minister has also asked Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Housing to consider what measures government could take to unlock and boost social impact investment, particularly in tackling issues like left-behind parts of the country, homelessness and housing for vulnerable people.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, in partnership with the British Council, Tilleke & Gibbins, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation have launched a practical resource to guide social entrepreneurs on the most appropriate legal structure to enable them to deliver impact in social enterprise.

Social Investment Business (SIB) has published a report which examines the investment and contract readiness support programmes it has managed for charities and social enterprises. SIB has awarded grants worth £40.5m to 677 organisations. Over a third of the recipients (245 organisations) have gone on to either raise investment or win contracts. Charities that were awarded grants through the programmes have subsequently raised £95m worth of social investment. The report can be read here.

Writing for Big Society Capital’s (BSC) blog, Karen NG (Investment Associate) interviews Thomas Man (Head of Capital Ambition at London Councils) to highlight innovative initiatives and partnerships in the sector of social investment in housing.


Faith based organisations

See under Data protection above.


Culture and creative

In its “Culture is Digital” report the government has announced museums, galleries, theatres and heritage organisations will be given access to cutting-edge technology and digital skills training to help them reach new and diverse audiences.


Housing

See under Social finance above.


Rehabilitation of offenders

The new Justice Secretary has delivered his first major speech on prison reform.


Campaigning and political activity

The government has published it's response to recommendations by the Committee on Standards in Public Life's Review of Intimidation in Public Life.


Pensions

The government has published its response to a pension’s consultation last year, together with draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Employer Debt and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018.


Charity land transactions and relief from stamp duty land tax

Charity Tax Group reports that responding to a written question from Peter Dowd MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride highlighted the numbers of people receiving relief from SDLT on transfers of land to charities over the last three years:

Estimates of the number of transactions claiming reliefs from SDLT a) 2015-16 b) 2016-17 c) Apr – Oct 2017
Transfers to charities 8,300 9,400 5,800
Group relief 6,900 7,400 4,300
Transfers to registered social landlords 2,200 2,300 1,300
Transfers involving multiple dwellings 6,100 6,400 3,200

Scotland

OSCR is starting work on the development of its first British Sign Language (BSL) Plan which follows on from the Scottish Government's British Sign Language Plan published in October 2017. The plan will examine OSCR’s functions and set out what measures it will take in relation to the use of BSL within these. To ensure the plan meets the needs of those directly affected, OSCR wants to engage individuals who use BSL or work or support BSL users and is looking for volunteers to join a reference group that would meet twice; once in April 2018 and in late August 2018.


Northern Ireland

Safeguarding

A representative from CCNI attended last week’s international safeguarding summit.

Inquiry report

CCNI has issued its inquiry report into Growth for Adolescents and Providing Support (GAPS NI). The case was originally opened following a complaint. CCNI found a number of issues, including: documents and details supplied to the Commission were fraudulent and documents supplied to other funders were fraudulent, including documents submitted in 2017 under the name of a former charity trustee who had died in 2016; at least £51,359 of cash noted as received by the charity cannot be traced through the charity’s accounts (this loss to the charity has been reported to the police); charity trustees failed to maintain accurate records of meetings or decisions of the charity and failed to demonstrate proper financial control; and no activities by the charity were evidenced by the Commission as furthering the charity’s purposes. CCNI’s regulatory action included suspending and then removing a named trustee, suspending another trustee who subsequently resigned, restricting the charity’s financial transactions and appointing an Interim Manager (Deloitte (NI) Ltd) to manage the property and affairs of the charity. The Interim Manager found that due to a lack of assets, the charity was not in a position to continue as a going concern and should be closed. The only remaining assets of the charity were five children’s bikes and associated equipment for Balanceability training which were funded by the Big Lottery Fund, who agreed they could be donated to another charity offering Balanceability classes.

Governance seminars

CCNI is publicising the free seminars it is running with the Developing Governance Group; the remaining sessions are on 20 March and 11 April.

 

 

 

 


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Christine Rigby

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Posted on 13/03/2018 in Legal Updates

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