7 Jul 2015
Dorothy Dalton is editor of Governance magazine and a governance expert. She was the first chief executive of Acevo, holding the position from 1992 to 2000. She also founded the Network of Women Chairs and co-founded Groundbreakers, a support group for female chief executives in the voluntary sector.
She was a non-executive director of the Inland Revenue and has been a judge at the Charity Awards for several years.
In a voluntary capacity Dalton has been a trustee of several charities including Marie Curie Cancer Care and regularly participates in fundraising expeditions for JoLt, the Journey of a Lifetime Trust which arranges overseas expeditions for disadvantaged or disabled young people.
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Governance expert Dorothy Dalton has stormed into the debate over whether trustees should sit on unitary boards alongside the executive and be paid for their work.
Minutes are a legal record and can be used by regulators or by the courts if there are questions of legal liability. It is vitally important that they are accurate and provide an audit trail for all major decisions. Minutes need to show that trustees acted reasonably and prudently.
Ultimate responsibility for the charity lies collectively with the full board of trustees as does ultimate authority over the charity. Trustees should ensure that no individual or groups of individuals ever undermine the board's ultimate authority or stewardship role.
Trustees can be personally liable if they act imprudently. How do trustees ensure they are prudent without becoming paranoid and risk-averse?
The Charity Commission receives around 2,000 complaints about charities a year; these are wide-ranging but their remit means they can only look into specific types of issues. To explain the process more clearly, the Charity Commission recently published revised guidance.
The Charities Act 2006 brought in changes which allow charity trustees to be paid for providing their charities with goods and services, and guidance published in June 2008 by the Charity Commission clarifies how boards should handle both these types of payments and general trustee expenses.
The Charity Commission, the independent regulator for charities in England and Wales, and the Department for Culture Media and Sport have jointly prepared new conflicts of interest guidance for arts charities.
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Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.