Update on charity regulation developments

The legislative changes to charity regulation currently going through Parliament finished their House of Lords stages on Monday (14th September). The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill now goes to the House of Commons – a date for the first debate (at second reading) is awaited. See parliamentary progress page for links to debates so far (and further ones in due course). See our earlier (July) news item on issues debated at the previous Lords session.

The legislation is mainly about giving the Charity Commission further powers to prevent abuse of charity status. Also, it will see anyone convicted of serious terrorism offences, money laundering or bribery automatically disqualified from becoming a trustee. The Commission’s chief executive gives her take on the background in ‘Scandal-hit charities need strong regulator‘ in The Guardian.

Civil Society News coverage is titled ‘Peers call for the FRSB to be replaced during charities bill debate’, but includes other observations.

Implications of stronger fundraising regulation

The new chair of FRSB (Fundraising Standards Board) formally took up his post today (16th September). Andrew Hind is a former chief executive of the Charity Commission, and most recently has been editor of Charity Finance, one of the Civil Society News titles.

Civil Society News duly has an interview where Hind says that a stricter fundraising regulatory regime would need at least 20 to 30 staff (with obvious cost implications) – FRSB currently has six. Amongst other criticisms of charities in light of the media coverage this summer, he believes that there hasn’t been enough involvement by trustees in fundraising issues.

A reminder that the ‘Etherington review’ into fundraising self-regulation is expected to report by Monday, 21st September.

UPDATE: maybe that was meant to be week commencing 21st September. See ‘Fundraising regulation reviews published‘ (23rd Sept).

See our piece ‘Addressing concerns on charity data use and fundraising‘ (9th September) for other recent developments.

Campaigning regulation

Also in progress at present is the review of the regulation of campaigning by charities, being carried out by Lord Hodgson. Civil Society News records some interesting comments of his at a recent NCVO conference, including that charity campaigning via the internet needs to be considered.

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