BWB highlights

The Department for International Development is beginning a “national conversation to find out more about the public’s views on and interest in ethical, responsible, and impactful investment practices”. See today’s Briefing for more details.

We are hosting a seminar in February to help organisations who may be finding managing security incidents in compliance with the new GDPR responsibilities burdensome and confusing. Find out more and book your place here.


At a glance

HMRC has published an updated Sponsorship VAT Notice with new content on crowdfunding.

NCVO has launched “Time Well Spent” a report detailing the findings from its national survey on the volunteer experience.

MPs have approved legislation to support the expansion of two-year and other accelerated degrees.

Thirteen local authorities are to receive funding and support to develop innovative plans to reduce childhood obesity.

The first ever cross-government suicide prevention plan has been published.


Charity Commission

Charity Commission news

The commission has published issue 62 of CC News. The newsletter covers the following topics, many of which relate to previous news stories on the commission’s website:

  • Check and update your charity details before submitting an annual return
  • Changes to public display names on the charity register
  • Quality and transparency of charity accounts
  • Safeguarding
  • Making Tax Digital for VAT

The newsletter also announces that all of the commission’s email addresses will be changing on 31 March – from that date, they will no longer have .gsi in the address.

New inquiry

The commission has announced that it has opened an inquiry into GTC (1160421) a charity which has set up a donation platform. The inquiry has been opened due to concerns:

  • About the administration of the charity, which include that there appears to be only one trustee (meaning that conflicts cannot be managed);
  • whether the charity is applying its resources in furtherance of charitable purposes;
  • that the charity’s accounting and reporting submissions lack clarity and
  • that the charity appears to direct funds to Greece, Turkey Syria and Pakistan, although its objects are to relieve poverty in the UK, mainly in the Aylesbury area.

Case report

The commission has published its case report into Ripon Community Link Company (1049030) a charity established to support adults with learning disabilities in the Ripon area. The charity made a serious incident report, after it had come under financial pressure due to the enforcement of the terms of its service contract. Four months later, the charity told the commission it had closed one of its sites, resulting in the loss of provision for 12 service users and a number of redundancies; concerns were reported to the commission by stakeholders and there was local media interest. The commission concluded that there had been no serious breaches of the law concerning trustee decision making or, but issued the charity with formal regulatory advice which included the following:

  • The consultation with stakeholders and community could have been better, for example it was not reasonable to give the beneficiaries only 10 days’ notice that the site was closing;
  • The charity had not had a designated safeguarding officer for three months - the nature of the charity was such that there should have been one in place at all times;
  • The governance structure could cause confusion as there were different types of membership, but it was not clear what rights were attached to them.

Tax and VAT

HMRC has published an updated Sponsorship VAT Notice (701/41). Paragraphs 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 4.3 have been amended to provide clarity on the existing information, and a new section 5 has been added on crowdfunding.


Safeguarding

BWB’s Melanie Carter and Claire Whittle have written this blog about the Government response to the Interim report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The Government has committed to a number of measures to safeguard children and support victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. These include establishing a financial redress scheme for former child migrants; taking steps to ensure that government agencies are compliant with the Victims’ Code; revising the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme to remove barriers faced by victims and survivors; considering the protections afforded to victims and survivors in the civil justice system and gathering evidence in relation to the recommendation that care staff working in children’s homes are professionally registered.


Data protection

Information Commissioner’s Office

The information Commission Elizabeth Denham has written this blog “How will personal data continue to flow after Brexit?

GDPR

Google has been fined 50m Euros by the French data protection authority.


Fundraising

Online fundraising sites

BT has posted a statement about the planned closure of the ‘BT MyDonate’ fundraising platform.


Education

See under Safeguarding above.

The government has published this news story “Education generates billions for UK economy”. It includes these figures for international exports:

  • Higher education - £13.4bn
  • Transnational education (TNE) - £1.9bn
  • Education products and services - £1.9bn
  • English Language Training Courses - £1.6bn
  • Independent schools - £0.9bn

Schools

The government has published a new national strategy to boost teacher numbers. The Education Secretary has also spoken out saying teachers should not have to email outside of office hours and should instead embrace innovative technology such as AI to help to reduce their workload,

According to new data, there are rising standards in secondary schools with disadvantaged pupils in multi-academy trusts making more progress than the equivalent national average. The Education Secretary has called on more schools to become an academy.

Higher education

MPs have approved legislation to support the expansion of two-year and other accelerated degrees.


Health and social care

See above under Charity Commission, Case report.

Thirteen local authorities are to receive funding and support to develop innovative plans to reduce childhood obesity.

The first ever cross-government suicide prevention plan has been published.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham’s Health Services Management Centre & Third Sector Research Centre have carried out one of the first major studies to explore the role of community hospitals, patient experience and the relationship which community hospitals have with their local community. See here for more details.


Social finance

See under Tax and VAT above re new VAT guidance on crowdfunding.

The Department for International Development is holding a national conversation “to find out more about the public’s views on and interest in ethical, responsible, and impactful investment practices”. This conversation will include focus groups and events across the country, as well as a national survey. The results of the conversation will be published in the Autumn. This work builds on work government and industry have been leading to bring impact investment to the mainstream.

Cat Ainsworth and Annie Legge (co-founders of Dot Project), writing for Pioneers Post, reflect on the challenges they have faced on the way to becoming successful social entrepreneurs. From testing a gap in the market which they had identified to building relationships with other organisations, they provide an insight into their experience and lessons learned.

Lily Tomson, writing for Civil Society, identifies the difficulty in trying to answer the question “what impact are our investments having…?” Members of the Charities Responsible Investment Network have put together practical expectations that they have of their managers around investing responsibly. This paper, coordinated by ShareAction, could be used to improve the conversations on responsible investment about asset managers.

Neil Poynton (head of charities at CAF), writes for Civil Society about how charities can blend investments and borrowing to help deliver their objectives. He illustrates his successful approach which includes keeping firm focus on the charity’s mission and financial strategy for delivering its mission and taking time to understand how investing an borrowing can help an organisation meet its mission and fulfil its objectives.


Sport

BWB’s Ben Thomas has written this blog about the Sport and Recreation Alliance annual conference which took place earlier this month with the theme of changing behaviour.


Volunteering

NCVO has launched Time Well Spent, a report detailing the findings from its national survey on the volunteer experience. The summary and full report, together with NCVO’s thoughts on the implications for the sector, can be found at www.ncvo.org.uk/timewellspent.


Modern slavery

The independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) in its second interim report has found that the impact of section 54 of the MSA has been limited to date and has called for tighter rules around making modern slavery statements.


Northern Ireland

Annual Return

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is urging Northern Irish charities to submit their annual reports and accounts on time as over 1,800 NI charities with a financial year end of 31 March are due to submit returns by 31 January. The regulator has also sent over 3,000 text messages to trustees of charities whose returns are due by this deadline and has published a video tutorial on how to submit the annual monitoring return.

 


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Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

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Posted on 29/01/2019 in Legal Updates

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