The Charity Commission has published its Annual Report 2014-15 and new Strategic Plan 2015-18.
The Charity Commission will continue to prioritise work aimed at protecting charities from abuse or mismanagement and enabling trustees to run their charity effectively and has its focus on acting in the public interest to ensure that
1. charities know what they have to do
2. the public know what charities do
3. charities are held to account
Recent research into trust and confidence in the Commission revealed widespread support for the regulator’s renewed focus on tackling abuse and mismanagement, but suggested that charities expect the commission to continue to support the majority of well-meaning trustees to do their best.
The increased focus on regulatory activity is clear in the Annual Report which shows the regulator has continued to strengthen its work to tackle serious abuse and mismanagement in charities. The commission opened 103 new investigations last year & used its enforcement powers 1,060 times - up from 64 and 790 in 2013-14 respectively. Actions taken during commission investigations in 2014-15 directly protected £44.6 million in charity assets - more than twice the value of the regulator’s annual budget. The report explains how the commission has strengthened and improved its approach to monitoring charities, including newly registered charities that have given rise to concern. The regulator concluded 393 monitoring cases in 2014-15 & carried out 137 compliance & inspection visits. Their strategic plan for 2015-18 identifies 4 strategic aims:
* protecting charities from abuse or mismanagement
* enabling trustees to run their charities effectively
* encouraging greater transparency and accountability in charities
* operating as an efficient, expert regulator with sustainable funding
The plan sets out how the regulator will achieve these aims, including by:
* making better use of data so resources can be focused on higher risk issues
* preventing problems arising through better targeted guidance & outreach work
* improving the registration process and protecting the integrity of the register of charities, including more pre and post registration scrutiny and
* improving the efficiency of the commission’s business processes
So it is important that Trustees have good governance practices in place to ensure they comply with CC guidance in order to protect the charity, its beneficiaries and themselves. SVS can offer good practice guidance and support as well as training to trustees and committees on their governance arrangements so please ask if you need any assistance.