Making progress in charity regulation

The National Audit Office has issued a follow-up report on how the Charity Commission has addressed recommendations by the NAO and Public Accounts Committee in late 2013. It finds that the Commission has made good early progress, but significant challenges remain.

The NAO’s press release, summary and full report can all be accessed via http://www.nao.org.uk/report/follow-up-on-the-charity-commission/.

Sector body NCVO says ‘read beyond the headlines’ in its overview of the key findings, and highlights one point in particular, that “if the board continues to be too involved in the day to day activities of the Commission, the independence of executive versus non-executive functions is seriously at risk”. Article at http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2015/01/22/nao-follow-up-on-the-charity-commission-read-beyond-the-headlines-2/. There is further sector response to the report on Civil Society News.

The Charity Commission’s director of policy and communications writes about the report in The Guardian, under the headline ‘We have to deliver the goods but the sector has to change too’, http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2015/jan/22/charity-commission-deliver-goods-sector-change. She says, amongst other points:

We also, in my view, need a culture change in the sector; we need charities to recognise that our role as their regulator is not to champion and defend their interests. Our role is to serve the public by holding charities to account and challenging them to meet the expected standards of governance, probity and accountability.

The Guardian also has a good ‘what you need to know about NAO follow-up’ piece at http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2015/jan/22/charity-commission-nao-follow-up. The text of The Guardian’s online ‘live’ Q&A session on the future of charity regulation (held Thursday 22nd) may also be interesting to some, http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2015/jan/15/the-future-of-charity-regulation-live-qa.