Charity regulation update: 10 February 2020

10 Feb 2020 News

Catch up on the latest announcements, new guidance and developments from the UK’s charity regulators. 

Charity Commission for England and Wales 

Charities being investigated 

National Rifle Association (NRA)

The Commission has told the NRA that it must provide quarterly updates to the Commission on whether participants in its marksmanship events are a member of the military, police or other emergency services, a former member of the military, police or other emergency services or a member of the cadet force, after a compliance case found the charity had operated outside of its charitable objects by promoting civilian recreational shooting competitions. 

Read our full news article.  

Alternative Housing

The Commission has removed Alternative Housing from the register of charities and said the trustees were responsible for mismanagement.  

It published the findings of its inquiry on 31 January. The charity had failed to file its accounts over a number of years.

In a statement, the Commission said: “The inquiry determined that the trustees had failed to ensure the charity could deliver suitable accommodation to its beneficiaries, and the condition of the properties had placed people who needed support at significant risk of harm. This is mismanagement and/or misconduct by the trustees.” 

In 2016, Alternative Housing was convicted of six breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006, which led to the charity being branded the “most prosecuted landlords in the UK” by news articles, and prompted the regulator to open an investigation. 

Resham Helping Hand 

The regulator has opened a statutory inquiry into Resham Helping Hand and temporarily restricted the charity’s transactions. 

The charity’s purposes include providing overseas aid and humanitarian relief in Pakistan, and the regulator is concerned about the charity’s due diligence and how it is monitoring the end use of charitable funds. 

Other announcement

The Charity Commission has signed a data-sharing agreement with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), as part of the regulator’s attempts to tackle poor accounting practices. The agreement allows, in certain circumstances, for the Commission to share details about individual ACCA members. ACCA is also able to share data with the Commission. 

Read our full news article. 

OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator

Easy-read guide to being a trustee 

OSCR has published updated guidance specifically for charity trustees who have difficulty reading.

An Easy Read Guide to being a Charity Trustee uses an Easy Read format. Easy Read is a method of presenting written information to make it easier to understand. It is closely edited to express ideas in a small number of simple words. Any difficult word or idea is explained in a separate sentence. It also uses specific imagery to complement the text.

How OSCR handles concerns about charities 

OSCR has updated its guidance on inquiry and compliance activity.

This guidance explains how it handles concerns about charities. It also explains its role as a regulator, the types of concerns it deals with and what charities and other people involved can expect when concerns arise about a charity.

Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) 

Late filing of accounts 

CCNI has ordered over 100 trustees at 28 charities to submit their outstanding accounts and reports by 17 February, and said that failure to comply could lead to court proceedings. 

Myles McKeown, the Commission’s head of compliance & enquiries, said: “The public want, and deserve, transparent, accountable charities in which they can have trust and confidence. Any charity not filing the required financial information by deadline is failing to deliver that – and they are running the risk of undermining public confidence not only in their own charities but in the charity sector as a whole.” 

Fundraising Regulator 

The Fundraising Regulator has updated its list of charities which have failed to log in to the Fundraising Preference Service and acknowledge suppression requests. 

As at 1 February, there were 23 charities that have not acted, with many have requests dating back to 2017. 

Civil Society Media’s Trustee Exchange conference takes place on 28 April 2020, and this year’s theme is ‘effective decision-making in a complicated world’. View the programme and book online here.


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