Share

Commission outlines new regulatory approach

Sam Younger, chief executive of the Charity Commission
News

Commission outlines new regulatory approach

Governance | Tania Mason | 16 Jan 2012

Opening a statutory inquiry into a charity will be very much a last resort for the newly-slimmed-down Charity Commission and will be reserved for the most serious of cases such as those involving fraud, terrorist activity, or risk to vulnerable beneficiaries.

The new regulatory approach is contained in the Commission's new Risk Framework published today, which outlines how the regulator will decide whether and how to engage with charities on various issues.

The regulator is facing a real-terms reduction in its budget of around a third over the next four years and so has been examining how it can best fulfil its regulatory duties with less money to spend than it has been used to.

The 11-page Risk Framework is accompanied by a longer, 25-page document that explains how the Commission will apply the Framework.

The Framework emphasises that the Commission will work to proactively indentify and manage risks rather than simply reacting to problems.  It will rely on its online guidance to provide charities with information, and work with other sector organisations to generate generic or more targeted advice.

However, it will only give individual advice to charities where not doing so will cause trustees to breach their legal duties – though it will provide advice in “complex charity mergers and restructures”.

It will routinely check a sample of accounts each year and take appropriate follow-up action if there are found to be issues.  It will not get involved in internal disputes or engage in issues that “do not pose a serious risk to a charity’s status, assets, services or beneficiaries”.

It will assess the nature of the risk and the level of risk before considering how to respond to cases that arise.

“We do not act as a complaints service looking at all complaints on behalf of complainants,” the Framework states. “We assess and identify if there is a regulatory issue or concern and if it satisfies the test we may become involved.”

Statutory inquiries

On statutory inquiries, the Commission states: “It is only in relation to regulatory concerns that we consider are the most serious that we would consider conducting an investigation.”

Factors that are likely to feature in a decision to open a statutory inquiry include:

  • Fraud or other criminal activity
  • Misuses of a charity for terrorist purposes
  • Ongoing and immediate risk to a charity’s beneficiaries
  • Deliberate abuse by trustees
  • Potential for significant damage to public trust and confidence in the charity, the sector, or the Commission

Sam Younger, the Commission's chief executive (pictured), said: "This approach sets out how we will use our resources and expertise to target the areas of highest risk and where our intervention will have the most impact.

"We will continue to deal with serious abuse and non compliance, and do so robustly.  We recognise that some trustees, acting honestly and reasonably, may make mistakes. However, careless and deliberate wrongdoing damages not only the charity concerned but public trust in the sector more generally.  If something goes wrong, we expect trustees to take responsibility for putting things right."

Click here for the Risk Framework and Application of Risk Framework.



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

RNIB chief executive criticises ‘arrogance’ of MPs who think charities must learn from private sector

21 Nov 2014

Lesley-Anne Alexander, chief executive of RNIB, yesterday said she had a “struggle with the arrogance”...

Property boom poses risk to charities' long-term survival, survey reports

20 Nov 2014

Nearly half of charities consider property the greatest risk to their long-term survival, according to...

A quarter of charities 'ignore Commission action plans'

19 Nov 2014

Around one in four charities that the Charity Commission issued action plans to last year either partially...

Band Aid 30 raised £1m in first day

19 Nov 2014

Band Aid 30 became the fastest-selling single of 2014 when it was released yesterday, with 206,000 people...

Society lotteries deregulation could lead to less trust in charities, says NCVO

19 Nov 2014

Deregulation of society lotteries could impact public trust and confidence in charities, NCVO has told...

UK is joint-seventh overall in World Giving Index of 135 nations

18 Nov 2014

The UK and Ireland are the fourth most generous nations in terms of giving money to charity, the latest...

OSCR launches new website

20 Nov 2014

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has launched a new website which includes a new search function.

Data from controversial Samaritans app to be deleted

17 Nov 2014

Samaritans has promised that all data collected by its Twitter monitoring app will be deleted and the...

Post Office enables Children in Need donations through Twitter

11 Nov 2014

The Post Office has become the first UK organisation to allow Twitter users to donate to charity through...

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 <<