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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.

Regulator review reveals drop in charity complaints

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OSCR's annual review has also shown a decrease in the amount of charities registered

The Scottish charity regulator has released its annual review.

The report from OSCR reveals that 854 new charities were added to the register for 2016/17 – with 1,150 applications for charitable status.

This amounts to a drop compared to last year, when 918 new organisations were added to the register.

More than half (57%) of the applications were from Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Scios) and it took an average of 61 days for a decision to be made.

There were 24,064 charities regulated by OSCR at the end of the March 2017, however only 1,041 operated cross-border.

There were 350 concerns raised about charities in the year, and 80 per cent of the queries were resolved within nine months. The amount raised in 2015/16 was 362.

A joint statement from chairman Dr David Forbes CBE and chief executive David Robb said that efforts had been made to on addressing issues through regulation.

It said: “We are happy with the progress made in implementing targeted regulation during the year.

"This approach allows us to focus our efforts and energies on addressing and preventing issues most likely to have an impact on public trust and confidence in charities. Concrete changes have included alterations to our annual return, the introduction of a notifiable events regime and the publishing on our register of the annual reports and accounts of many charities.”

Focus had also been given to helping trustees comply with their legal duties, and on making guidance easier to access and more straightforward.

The statement added: “A lot of work has gone into ensuring that registration and reporting have been straightforward and proportionate this year. Charities now have strong and accessible online annual return guidance, and we have received 1,150 applications for charitable status in line with our policies.”