Share

Lord Hodgson to lead Charities Act review

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts
News

Lord Hodgson to lead Charities Act review 1

Governance | Tania Mason | 8 Nov 2011

Conservative peer Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts has been chosen to lead the government’s review of the Charities Act 2006, and is due to publish his report to Parliament by next summer.

The review, which the Act itself promised would take place within five years of it being passed, will look at a whole gamut of issues, including the definition of charity and the role and status of the Charity Commission as the sector’s regulator.

It will also examine the "operation of the Act provisions relating to the definition of charity and...changes in relation to the public benefit requirement" in light of the recent Upper Tribunal judgment on public schools.

The government left it to the last possible day to announce who would lead the review – the Act gained Royal Assent on 8 November 2006.

Announcing Lord Hodgson’s appointment today, the Cabinet Office said that the review would “also look at further reducing the burden of regulation whilst preserving safeguards that protect the public interest”.  In light of this, Lord Hodgson is an obvious choice, as he chaired the Red Tape Task Force which recommended ways the government could make it easier to run a charity.

He is also president of the NCVO, chairman of the Armed Forces Charities Advisory Company and a trustee of Fair Trials International.

Lord Hodgson said: “I want to discover where the legal framework is working and where it’s letting charities and the public down so we can try and put it right.

"The Charities Act 2006 changed the legal framework and it is right that the effect of these changes should now be assessed. It is also important that the law be made fit for purpose looking ahead, given the new challenges and opportunities that charities now face.”

He added that he hoped that sector representatives would help him carry out the review by submitting responses and agreeing to be interviewed when he calls for evidence, as they did when he conducted the Red Tape Review.

The Act itself states that the review must address the legislation's effect on:

  • excepted charities
  • public confidence in charities
  • the level of charitable donations
  • the willingness of individuals to volunteer
  • the status of the Charity Commission as a government department, and
  • any other matters the minister considers appropriate

The full terms of reference for the review also specify that it will cover the licensing regime for public collections, the success of the Fundraising Standards Board, the success of the Charity Tribunal and thresholds for registration of charities.

The terms of reference are published on the Cabinet Office website.

Unremunerated position

Lord Hodgson will work for one day a week on the review and will not be paid. The Office for Civil Society said he will be supported by officials from the OCS and “an expert charity lawyer brought in for up to one day per week and paid at significantly below commercial rates”.

Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, said: “This is an important opportunity to get the legal framework for charities right. Charities play a hugely important role in society and must be supported with a clear and effective legal framework. I want to see less red tape for charities and smarter safeguards so the public can be more confident in their support for charities.”

The NCVO has already set up its own independent group which will shadow Lord Hodgson’s review.

Michael Wilson
8 Nov 2011

The best thing that Lord Hodgson could do is recommend the creation of a charities ombudsman to deal with those matters that are not covered by the charities commission but which cause a great deal of anguish for the people who have run ins with charities.

There is a petition on the government e-petitions website asking for this. Please sign and share.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/645

Create a Charities Ombudsman

Responsible department: Cabinet Office

This petition calls on the government to create a Charities Ombudsman with the power to deal with complaints about charities and the authority to order a charity to provide adequate redress if a complaint is upheld.. The Charity Commission is unable to get involved in a wide range of complaints because they are not within its remit. If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of a Charity's own internal complaints procedure their only remaining option is the legal system. With legal aid being cut drastically this is beyond the reach of the majority of people. Many charities are now running services or even acting as law enforcement agencies, so it is important that they are seen to be properly regulated and to have an effective and objective independent external complaints procedure. We want Parliament to debate this issue.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Social Investment Business chief says Hurd was "moved" from ministerial post

29 Sep 2014

The chief executive of the Social Investment Business published a tweet on Saturday night shortly after...

Nearly 40 redundancies at Lincolnshire education charity

26 Sep 2014

Linkage Community Trust has made 39 people redundant as the learning disabilities charity works to refocus...

Virgin Money reveals £1m investment in North East

26 Sep 2014

Virgin Money has announced plans to invest £1m in the North East after its offer to part-fund the Northern...

Help the Hospices rebrands as Hospice UK

29 Sep 2014

Help the Hospices has rebranded to become Hospice UK to better reflect the “breadth, dynamism and flexibility”...

NSPCC rebrands and moves on from the Full Stop campaign

26 Sep 2014

The NSPCC has rebranded in a bid to turn around its declining income and better convey the work it is...

UK charities spend bulk of near £400m advertising budget on direct mail

26 Sep 2014

Charities in the UK spent £394m on advertising in 2013 with 61 per cent of the total going on direct...

JustGiving page for Manchester Dogs’ Home receives four donations a second

15 Sep 2014

JustGiving has said that donations going to an appeal for the Manchester Dogs’ Home following an arson...

Commission's new online charity search to launch soon after delay

15 Sep 2014

The Charity Commission’s searchable online register of charities is due to launch in beta this autumn,...

Charities warned that digital campaigns can be 'counterproductive'

9 Sep 2014

Charity digital campaigns can be counterproductive and will need to change to keep the attention of those...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<