Understanding the new public procurement rules

Sector think tank New Philanthropy Capital has produced a briefing on the new Public Contracts Regulations 2015. These regulations bring in to effect, from 26th February, a European Directive on public procurement. According to NPC, they will help today will help charities win government contracts but do not got far enough. Civil Society News coverage.

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More powers, and safeguards, needed for Charity Commission

The parliamentary Committee on the Draft Protection of Charities Bill has published its report into the proposed law, which would give further powers to the Charity Commission. It has backed the proposals but also says that effective safeguards must be in place to ensure charities and their trustees are treated fairly by the Commission.

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Useful updates on copyright law

A pretty comprehensive Legal Update on copyright law, changes in the last year or so, useful guidance in official ‘copyright notices’ etc., was produced recently by Sandy Adirondack.

The majority of the material is at http://www.sandy-a.co.uk/activities.htm#copyright, and includes extension to exception for private copying, extension to exception for making accessible copies for disabled people, British Library deposit obligation extended to non-print works.

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Two dimensions to charity change management

Written as an introduction to NPC’s upcoming Leading Impact conference, a short article emphasises the difference to other sectors in how change is driven in charities.

There is a dual purpose – fundraising and delivery – and NPC puts forward three essential facets – burning platform, vision and plan – which need to be broken down into aspects that represent both sides of a charity’s work in practical terms. ‘Managing change: a unique challenge for charities’ at http://www.thinknpc.org/blog/managing-change-a-unique-challenge-for-charities/

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Updated rates and translations from HMRC

HM Revenue and Customs has updated its web pages detailing ‘Rates and thresholds for employers’, essential information for operating a payroll or managing employee expenses and benefits.

Those for 2015 to 2016 tax year can be found at https://www.gov.uk/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2015-to-2016, while for the current year 2014 to 2015, see https://www.gov.uk/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2014-to-2015. As well as tax/NIC thresholds, these pages include national minimum wage, SSP, SMP, rates for reimbursing employee vehicle mileage, etc.

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Scottish updates on workforce, volunteer and other funding

Scotland’s major third sector event The Gathering (25th/26th February) prompts a number of Scottish news items.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon was interviewed by Third Force News. She gave a commitment to achieve three-year funding for the third sector and to involve it more in the delivery of public services. She tells TFN how “social justice and equality will be at the heart of every policy she makes and how she believes the sector will be a crucial ally in taking this agenda forward.” See interview overview or the full version on TFN.

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Analysing the funding data

Newly published, three separate analyses of data on funding – central government grants, public sector and social enterprise, NHS contracts with charities and others.

Civil Society News examines Central government grants data for the year to March 2014. Of £147 billion of grant funding, only just over 1 per cent (£1.52bn) went to voluntary and community organisations. The majority of that went to a handful of very large bodies.

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United front against charity “gagging” law

A coalition of leading UK charities, including Oxfam, Save the Children and the Salvation Army, has written to national leaders of political parties asking for the recent legislation restricting their voice to be repealed.

In the letter they “ask that you commit your party to repealing part two of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, apart from the raised Electoral Commission registration thresholds, in the first session of Parliament after the election.” They also ask that the previous inadequate legislation should be reviewed within eighteen months of the general election in May.

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