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Sector disappointed by lack of progress on Scottish government’s charity law reforms

19 Jul 2019 News

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has said it is “disappointed” by the Scottish government’s consultation outcomes on Scottish charity law reforms.

Maureen Mallon, chief executive at OSCR said: ‘‘We are disappointed that there is no indication that the consultation will result in a reform bill for charity law in this session of parliament.”

OSCR helped instigate the consultation that ran from January to April, which had over 300 responses from individuals and organisations in Scotland.

Meanwhile the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) said it and many in the sector were left “underwhelmed” by the consultation document.

An amendment regulations to SCIOs

Amendment regulations to the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs) will be brought forward in this parliamentary session and are intended to preserve public trust in the model.

Mallon said OSCR welcomed the Scottish government’s announcement of a working group on changes to the SCIOs (Removal from the Register and Dissolution) Regulations 2011.

This follows a specific call in the consultation for a review of regulations about the winding up, insolvency and dissolution of SCIOs.

But she added: “OSCR will continue to press for required changes and charity law reform.”

SCVO ‘underwhelmed’

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) said it and many in the sector were left “underwhelmed” by the consultation document.

Paul Bradley, policy and campaigns officer at SCVO said they “were hoping for reform but were left underwhelmed with a paper that simply hadn’t gone far enough”.

“Rather than being driven by a vision of what it means to be a modern charity 13 years since the legislation was introduced, it felt an attempt to patch up regulation without a clear story running through it.”

He added: “Far more detail and collaboration with the charitable sector is needed to make sure any proposals, if implemented, are done so in a way that satisfies not just government and the regulator but enhances trust in the legislation from charities themselves. 

“The assurance from the Scottish government that they will work together with the sector on this is welcome.

“But it’s the Scottish government’s commitment to a conversation on a wider review of charity law that’s most welcome.”

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