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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Consultation launches on powers of Scotland’s charity regulator

 

Holyrood’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee are seeking the views of the public. 

Proposals that would see the powers of Scotland’s charity regulator strengthened are to be considered by the Scottish Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee.

Under the proposals in the Charities (Regulation and Administration) (Scotland) Bill, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), would have wider powers to investigate charities and charity trustees. 

Rules around who can be a charity trustee or senior office-holder in a charity would also be tightened.

The proposed changes to the law were developed following suggestions from OSCR. Some of the changes are intended to ensure Scottish legislation is in line with updated legislation in England and Wales.

The Committee wants to understand what impact the changes in the Bill might have

To make this as easy as possible for all charities to respond, no matter their size, the Committee is inviting people to share their views either through a detailed consultation, or a short survey.

They hope to get an insight into how the charity sector has changed since the Charities Act was passed in 2005 and get a better idea of how the updated laws might impact the Scottish public.

MSP Natalie Don, convener of the Social Justice and Social Security Committee said: “Charities are a cornerstone of public life in Scotland, with millions of people across the country supporting, or benefitting from their work. 

“It is important that the public can have faith in the often vital work that they do. We’re keen to understand the extent to which the Bill might strengthen that faith.

“We also want to understand what administrative impact the Bill might place on charities and their trustees. We understand that many people volunteer for charities and we want to know how these changes might impact on the way that they are able to perform these roles.

“There are more than 25,000 charities in Scotland and we would like anybody who has a role working or volunteering for one to share their views on the Bill, either by completing the detailed call for views, or the shorter survey.”

The Committee’s survey and detailed consultations will both close on Friday 3 February 2023. 

Following the closure of the consultation, the Committee will undertake several public evidence sessions before producing a report commenting on the principles of the Bill in the spring

 

Comments

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Dominic Notarangelo
about 2 months ago

Long overdue, but likely to be a 'damp squib'.

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Bill
about 2 months ago

Generally covers big issues long not dealt with. Good. The only issue is it’s fine to point out people creating charities for tax avoidance or funding terror etc but there is a real issue when making Trustee names and addresses public. This is a big mistake. Charities let’s face it are not businesses they operate in often disputed space to support and make change. Disgruntled people having access to names and addresses on a web search is down right dangerous and unethical. The register needs to be closed for OSCR and by extension gov use. Perhaps encouraging charities to post images small bio and names on their site. Most do anyway. But to publish their home addresses and contact numbers and emails is bloody stupid! You’ll see scores of quality people leaving the sector. Would you working with a say a trans charity want your home address on internet search? Yeah right! Or domestic abuse. Those fleeing oppression seeking refuge. Etc. Yes loopholes exist when charities are also companies but most take care if in disputed space and frankly those charities are rarely trading. Or have a private register for charities at risk of abuse. But free for all companies house style. Iffy.