BWB highlights

In the wake of the new Trustee welcome package from the Charity Commission for England & Wales, Onboard has launched a dedicated support programme for small charities. See today’s Briefing for details.

On 17th May, there is an open day for organisations interested in desk space in the BWB Charity Hub – details of the Charity Hub can be found here.


At a glance

The Charity Commission has launched a new trustee welcome pack.

The Fundraising Regulator has published two further anonymised case studies, one about an event organised by a commercial participator and one about the Fundraising Preference Service.

The Department for Education has published a data protection toolkit for schools.

The European Commission have provided further clarification around proposed legislative changes, which will have an impact on UK regulation relating to social impact investing.

New rules make it easier for company directors to remove their residential addresses from the public register held at Companies House.


Charity Commission

Trustee Welcome Pack

The Commission has launched a new trustee welcome pack, see this announcement and this link to the pack. The welcome pack has been through a testing stage, but the Commission will still be asking for feedback. It will be emailed out to all new trustees by the Commission and is published on the Commission’s website so that existing trustees can use it.

Civil Society reported that in a speech to the Trustee Exchange conference last week, Sarah Atkinson of the Charity Commission described the new welcome pack as a “friendly but firm regulatory welcome handshake”.

See below under Governance about a new On Board development announced this week.

Fraud research

The Commission has announced that it has published the findings of a study which has found that cultural factors, such as placing excessive trust or responsibility in individuals, or the lack of internal challenge and oversight, contributed to 70% of insider frauds within a sample of charities. It has published a press release as well as the research report itself and a separate note of case studies.


Governance

Onboard Development Support Programme for small charities

In the wake of the new Trustee welcome package from the Charity Commission for England & Wales, Onboard has launched a dedicated support programme for small charities. “There is so much for small charities to come to terms with. The welcome pack from the Charity Commission stresses the importance of an induction process. The Charity Governance Code for small charities is also an important standard for charities that has been endorsed by the Commission. Our Onboard offer for small charities offers a helping hand. It consists of a series of workshops, free templates, a series of webinars and signposts to other resources” says Tesse Akpeki, Lead Onboard consultant. Our first Onboard small charity workshop will take place on 12 July 2018.

The Institute of Risk Management has published “Risk governance for charities”.


Data protection

GDPR

The Law Society has published guidance on the EU General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) and what it will mean for law firms and their clients.

Also see under Education below.

Recent ICO fines

A former employee of a Milton Keynes hospital trust has been prosecuted for accessing patient records without authorisation. Michelle Harrison, of Milton Keynes, inappropriately accessed the records of 12 patients outside of her role as receptionist/general assistant in the Orthotics Department at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust between March 2016 and January 2017. These included the patient records of her ex-partner and a woman who claimed that Ms Harrison had used the information to harass her.


Cyber security

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018. The 2018 report is based on findings of a random probability telephone survey of 1,519 UK businesses and 569 UK registered charities from 9 October 2017 to 14 December 2017. This is the first year that charities have been included in the survey. 98% of UK businesses and 93% of charities represented in the survey rely on some form of digital communication or services, including staff email addresses, websites, online banking or donating facilities and so are exposed to cyber security risks. The significant findings of the survey include that:

  • 43% of British businesses discovered at least one cyber security breach or attack in the past year and 19% of charities.
  • The figure is much higher in large businesses or large charities with an income of £5 million or more, rising to 72% of businesses and 73% of charities.
  • 56% of businesses and 44% of charities hold personal data on customers, beneficiaries or donors electronically. Among these, 47% of businesses and 30% of charities have experienced breaches or attacks.
  • The average cost of breaches is £3,100 for businesses and £1,030 for charities, rising to £16,100 for medium-sized businesses and £22,300 for large businesses.
  • 74% of businesses and 53% of charities said that cyber security is a high priority for their organisation's senior management but only 27% and 21% respectively had a formal cyber security policy.

Civil Society consultations

The Civil Society Futures consultation has launched its one year work in progress report. And writing for NPC on the day of the launch of the one year on report, Julia Unwin, Chair of Civil Society Futures, reflects on her experience during the first half of the inquiry.

The separate Government consultation on civil society strategy closes on 22 May.


Brexit

EU Withdrawal Bill

On 25 April 2018, the House of Lords (HoL) approved further amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 (EUWB) that, amongst other effects, would permit Ministers to use the "Henry VIII" powers to correct deficiencies in retained EU law under clause 7 where this "is necessary", rather than where a Minister "considers it appropriate", as the draft EUWB had originally allowed for (amendment 31). This represents a heightened test, and removes the scope of discretion that the original draft clause had afforded Ministers.

Human Rights

On 23 April 2018, the House of Lords approved amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 that would retain the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in domestic legislation, preserve rights of action for breaches of the general principles of EU law.

Environment

The following NCVO blog considers the need for an environment watchdog after Brexit.


Fundraising

Fundraising Regulator

The Fundraising Regulator has published two further anonymised case studies (bringing the total to 12). In the two latest case studies, the FR upheld a complaint about ticket prices for an “in aid of” event and upheld a complaint that a charity failed to suppress a request made through the Fundraising Preference Service.

Also see under Social finance and Culture and creative below.


Education

Early years

New support to help parents improve their children’s early language and literacy skills at home before they start school have been announced by Education Secretary Damian Hinds. A new £5million scheme will be run by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to trial projects to provide practical tools and advice to parents so they can help their children learn new words through simple steps like reading and singing nursery rhymes. Alongside this, an £8.5million programme has opened for local authorities to fund projects to improve early language and literacy development for disadvantaged children.

Schools

The Department for Education has published a data protection toolkit for schools which aims to support schools' compliance with the new data protection regime imposed by the GDPR and the forthcoming Data Protection Act 2018. The toolkit includes guidance to schools on:

  • Creating data maps and data asset registers.
  • The duration of document retention.
  • Communicating with data subjects

The toolkit is a Beta version, and the DfE welcomes feedback on the toolkit by way of informal consultation. Feedback can be sent by email to data.modernisation@education.gov.uk until 1 June 2018 and will be used to inform a revised version.

The government has announced details of a £23 million Future Talent Fund programme which will test new and innovative ways of helping the most talented disadvantaged pupils to remain on their high performing trajectory and prevent them falling behind their more affluent peers. Applications are now open for organisations to manage the fund, which runs until 2020. In the autumn, a variety of organisations will be eligible to apply for the funding. This will include state-funded schools and multi academy trusts, charities and research organisations, independent schools and universities. Projects supported by the fund must be delivered in non-selective, state-funded secondary schools in England.

Higher education

The National Union of Students and Release have released a report on student drug use and drug policies in UK higher education. The report claims that the legal approach to drug use among students is archaic and harmful.


Children's services

The government has announced new support to help children living with alcohol-dependent parents. Local authorities will be invited to bid for funding by coming up with innovative solutions based on local need, with priority given to areas where more children are affected. Public Health England will be responsible for working with the funded areas to monitor progress.


Health

See above under Children’s services.

Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £300,000 following a conviction for a health and safety breach relating to a patient dying from legionnaires' disease.

In the first citizens’ assembly commissioned by Parliament, a group of people from across the country will be brought together to consider the best way to fund adult social care.


Social finance

Regulatory boost from Europe for sustainable finance - Following on from the action plan on sustainable finance announced back in March, the EC have provided further clarification around proposed legislative changes, which will have an impact in the near future on UK regulation relating to social impact investing, as the FCA will be forced to adopt many of the proposed changes. In May 2018, the EC will table legislative proposals:

  • To develop a unified EU classification of sustainable economic activities. Based on this, the Commission will be able to define EU-wide standards and labels for green bonds and other green financial products.
  • That will task asset managers, insurance companies and pension funds to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions. The aim is that this should help increase the awareness of sustainability risks, and steer more funding towards green and sustainable projects.

Civil Society reports on the government-backed taskforce created to progress recommendations from a government-commissioned report published by Allianz Global Investors. The report contained 53 recommendations for government, industry and umbrella organisations to help grow the social impact investing market. 20 firms (including Big Society Capital and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation) have pledged their support for the taskforce.

Pioneers Post reports on Airbnb’s recently launched “Social Impact Experiences”. This service provides users with an opportunity to have authentic local experiences which benefit good causes. Registered charities and some Community Interest Companies can make use of this new platform to fundraise by hosting activities on Airbnb and keeping 100% of profits.

The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) has published a report, “The possible, not the perfect: Learning from funder responses to emergencies” (attached), which looks at funders responses to three different emergencies during summer 2017: the Grenfell Tower fire, the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks, and the Manchester Arena bomb. The aim of the report is to share experiences and influence and improve day-to-day grant-making in relation to community organisations.

City of London Corporation has launched a new report detailing how its £20m Social investment Fund is changing the lives of thousands of people across the UK. Its investments have been focussed on the following sectors: housing & homelessness, market development, leisure / travel, ex-offenders, emerging markets and civil society support.

Nick Benton (Data and Portfolio Director, Big Society Capital) shares thoughts on the 5th bi-annual release of social investment deal level data. This includes over 2500 investments into charities and social enterprises. He notes that data standardisation is key to lowering the cost of data production. The data set may be explored using the link above.

NPC has published “In Pursuit of Deep Impact and Market-Rate Returns”, a summary of how the KL Felicitas Foundation’s impact investing portfolio balances social impact with financial return.


Culture and creative

Civil Society Media reports a survey has found that nearly three quarters of arts and culture sector organisations consider their reputations to be vulnerable to damage through association with sponsors or major donors. This finding comes from a survey conducted by ArtsProfessional, the results of which have been reproduced in a report called Ethics in arts sponsorships.

As part of its Industrial Strategy, the Government has published the “Creative Industries Sector Deal”.


Volunteering

NCVO has published this blog “Pale, male and stale? What I learned while researching diversity and volunteering”.


International development

BOND has summarised 6 key announcements from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).


Competition law/disqualification of directors

The Competition and Markets Authority has secured the disqualification of two directors whose company (an estate agents) broke competition law. This follows an investigation that resulted in 5 Somerset estate agents being fined more than £370,000 last year for secretly agreeing between themselves the fees they charged. The CMA secured legally binding undertakings from two of these directors which have the effect of disqualifying them as directors and preventing them from being involved in the management of any UK company. This is the second time disqualifications have been secured in connection with a company’s breach of competition law.


Company law

Protection of residential addresses

The Companies (Disclosure of Address) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, which we reported on in a previous Briefing have now come into force. The new rules make it easier for company directors to remove their residential addresses from the public register held at Companies House. It is now possible for a director to apply to remove a residential address from the public record regardless of when it was originally sent to Companies House, and without needing to show any risk of violence or intimidation. Current directors of live companies will need to provide a replacement service address. The “serious risk of violence or intimidation” test will also be removed where a company applies to suppress residential addresses for all of its members: this could affect share companies which have filed information about their members with Companies House. The test will continue to apply to individual members making an application for suppression, and to a person registering a charge.


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Christine Rigby

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Posted on 01/05/2018 in Legal Updates

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