Interesting News in the Charity Sector

  • By Jenny Faulkner
  • 2 October 2014 00:00

After a busy summer with the release of the two new SORPs, the sector has seemed relatively quiet in the last month. However the Charity Commission (CC) have listed the following interesting news articles:

  • The CC has migrated all of its website content to GOV.UK. Don't worry if you subscribe to email alerts - the CC have confirmed you will continue to receive these! It is also possible to set up GOV.UK bulletins which cover CC information in addition to other organisations now hosted on the site.
  • Charities are being urged to report serious incidents to their regulator - the CC has issued an alert noting that serious incidents are under-reported which is putting charities and their work at risk.

In 2013/14, 1,280 serious incidents were reported which is up from 971 in the previous year. However the CC still find incidents which should have been reported but have not been. An incident is seen to be serious if it risks or results in significant loss of a charity's money or assets, damage to the charity's property or harm to a charity's work, beneficiaries or reputation.

Obvious examples include fraud and theft. This alert highlights that if trustees fail to act responsibly in relation to an incident such as failing to report, or not reporting promptly, the CC may consider this to be mismanagement. This could lead to regulatory action! As advisors to charities, we need to reinforce the facts stated in the report to our clients but must also consider the implications of our own reporting to the CC!

For those charities which are fully registered in Scotland or are a Cross Border Charity, at the beginning of August a consultation was launched on targeted regulation of Scottish Charities by OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator). The consultation covers four areas; annual reporting, publishing accounts, creation of a trustee database and reporting serious incidents and the proposals are to enable more focus on critical issues that impact charities. This consultation is running until 24 October. For further details click here.

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