Targeted Regulation - five months on
On the 15th of March of this year, we published a ‘hot topic’ Things are Changing which outlined the key changes we were bringing in on the 1st of April. These included a change to our annual return form, the introduction of a notifiable events regime and the publishing on our register of annual reports and accounts of all charities with an income of over £25,000 and all SCIOs. The first few months of running with these changes have brought little drama. It has all moved relatively smoothly and we are happy that the changes have been the right ones. Now that they have been in place for over five months, it is probably a good time to update you on a couple of things.
Publishing annual reports and accounts
If you have had look at some of the published accounts, you will see that bits of them have been redacted. We have had some queries about why that is necessary when they are public documents. I agree that this may appear a bit strange, but because of our particular legislation, we are not able to publish personal information such as signatures, because of data protection issues. We are looking at the possibility of legislative change in order to make it easier for us to publish the documents automatically, but until that time comes we will continue to redact. We know that this may be a bit unsatisfactory both for ourselves and for the viewers of our register.
Because of this, we have looked for different ways of making the reports and accounts available through the register in their original form. The easiest way of doing this where a charity has them on their own web-site is by including a link to the accounts. If you haven’t yet supplied us with a link, but you have one … then please do.
We are very pleased with the way this has been working. We haven’t received huge numbers of reports, but where they have come in, we can see that the trustees are generally taking the correct steps to sort things out wherever possible.
There have been some inquiries about the whereabouts of the guidance
and some very good comments about how the guidance might be sharpened up. We have decided to wait a few more months before refreshing the guidance, as it is still early days. But we are very interested to hear these comments, and therefore if something is not clear, or you feel some area of the guidance could be improved, then please let us know, as that will help us ensure that the next version of the guidance is as useful as possible.