2.5 – Providing information to the public
There is information that you must to give to the public:
- You must state your charity’s name and Scottish charity number (SC0[zero]xxxxx) on your charity’s website home page and all external documents, like letters, emails, adverts, posters, invoices and other publications.
See the publicising that you are a charity section for more details.
- You must give a copy of your governing document and/or the latest examined or audited accounts to anyone that asks for them. The reason a person asks for a copy of these documents does not matter; provided it is a reasonable request, you must give them a copy.
Good practice is to publish your governing document and accounts on the charity’s website, if you have one.
What is an unreasonable request?
What is reasonable or unreasonable will depend on the circumstances of each case. It is important to understand that it is the request that must be unreasonable not the reasons for the request or the identity of the requester.
The examples below are when a request might be unreasonable:
- A request for copies of accounts and/or governing document that are already publicly available, in which case you should tell the person where to get the information, for example on the charity’s website.
- A request for documents that the person already has.
- A request for the documents within an unreasonable timescale, for example within 24 hours, or in an unreasonable format.
If you decide a request is unreasonable you should be able to justify your decision, bearing in mind that a concern could be raised with us about it. Where appropriate you should work with the requester to fulfil their request.
Can you charge a fee for the request?
Yes, you can, but only for any administrative costs in producing and sending a copy of the document, for example, the cost of photocopying and postage. You cannot charge for the costs associated with preparing the accounts or staff time taken to copy and post the documents.
Many charities publish their governing document and annual accounts on their own websites. You can put a link to your accounts on your entry in the Scottish Charity Register by emailing us the link and your charity’s details.