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The Charity Commission’s initial conclusions on future strategy

The Charity Commission has recently unveiled the next four year plan in its regulatory assessment of charities. The Charity Commission has recently completed the first stage of its strategic review and has published the responses received from the public consultation period.

The Chair of the Charity Commission, Dame Suzi Leather announced that “the public and the charity sector have warmly endorsed the critical role we play in protecting and serving the public interest in charity and in holding charities accountable for the privileges of charitable status. They also endorse our general approach and recognise our improved effectiveness”.

The key priorities that have been highlighted in the new four year plan are the following:

Registering charities

The Charity Commission wants to ensure that registration continues to be a rigorous test of charitable purposes, but streamlining the process so that applications which do not meet the requirements are rejected immediately.

Provision of guidance to trustees

The Charity Commission wants to keep on providing clear information to trustees to enable them to meet the legal requirements necessary to run a charity. However, they want to be able to tailor the information available so that it meets the diverse needs of charities and develop partnerships with connected bodies to spread the administrative burden.

Maintaining the accountability of charities

The Charity Commission wants to make sure that the information that it requires from charities as a check on their public accountability is sufficient. They also want to increase the ways in which this information is shared with the public.

Giving permissions as required by law

The Charity Commission wants to reduce the bureaucracy involved in the ‘permissions’ so that applications are correct first time.

Actions taken when mismanagement or abuse of charity discovered

The Charity Commission wants to continue in the way that it deals with mismanagement, but only intervene when there is a serious and systematic risk, or when the Charity Commission’s involvement can have the most impact.

Organisational structure and culture

The Charity Commission wants to create a hierarchical structure, with fewer layers of decision making. This is so that more flexible operational teams can be established, who provide a clearer and more consistent framework.

The aim of the Charity Commission is to begin implementing these changes from May 2011 with a view to having the new strategy and structure fully in place from 1 October 2011.

For more information visit the Charity Commission’s website.

 

 

Date: 3rd March, 2011
Author: Wendy Bambrick

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