OCS reviews procedure for door-to-door licence rejections

17 Sep 2010 News

The Office for Civil Society is reviewing the way it considers appeals by charities against local authority refusals to grant house-to-house collections licences.

The Office for Civil Society is reviewing the way it considers appeals by charities against local authority refusals to grant house-to-house collections licences.

The OCS plans to draw up new policy guidance as to the new procedures it will follow in considering appeals, and will circulate this to the sector for consultation shortly.

Until now, the Cabinet Office’s role in considering appeals has been limited to looking at how the licensing authority went about reaching its decision. It did not consider the merits of the licence application.

But after a charity challenged this, the Cabinet Office took legal advice and decided to review its approach. Now it is believed to consider that in order for the minister for civil society to properly comply with his statutory function under the Act, he should be making decisions on the basis of all the evidence available.

Mick Aldridge, chief executive at the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association which regulates all face-to-face fundraising, said he welcomed the review but was puzzled as to why the OCS felt it necessary, given the “tiny number” of instances where charities are refused licences.  

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