New focus on transparency and efficiency widely welcomed.

16 Mar 2015

New focus on transparency and efficiency widely welcomed

Scotland’s charity regulator has today released the responses from its biggest ever consultation – where it invited the country’s charities to contribute to its planned new approach.  Its proposals to reinforce public confidence through greater transparency, easier reporting for charities, and more targeting of its resources have found favour with the more than 700 charity representatives who gave their feedback.

Read the full summary report here.

Read a short report here, for discussion at charity meetings.

The independent regulator’s programme of Targeted Regulation will see it refocus its resources based on its experience and future priorities.  Its aim is to develop the regulatory regime to encourage transparency for the public, ease reporting for most charities, and ensure more effective use of resources.

Key elements include:

  • Changes to the regulator’s reporting mechanisms to reinforce the principles of good governance, and a drive to more online services to streamline processes for charities
  • Measures to encourage transparency and support public confidence, including the publication of charity reports and accounts on the Scottish Charity Register and the creation of a trustee database
  • A new system of Serious Incident Reporting, through which charities must alert the Regulator to matters that may damage public trust and confidence in charities.

The Regulator hosted a series of consultation events, and actively sought the views of charities and their advisors on its intended new approach.  In its most widespread consultation to date, the proposals gathered nearly 400 written responses, the overwhelming majority of them positive, and which are summarised in today’s report.  The regulator also met over 350 charity representatives at nine consultation meetings it staged across the country to explain the proposed changes and gather feedback.

Chief Executive, David Robb, welcomed the summary report and the enthusiastic endorsement of the sector.  ‘As a result of our new approach we will continue to ensure public confidence, and interact with charities in a more targeted way.  It’s very satisfying to note that the great majority of charities agree and we have listened carefully to comments aimed at improving our plans.  Our Board has approved the programme and we will now actively develop the various work strands to ensure a successful transition, and the minimum burden on charities’ he said. 

‘The changes are to make us more risk-based and proactive and will help focus our own resources more effectively.  This programme demonstrates the positive changes we can make as charity regulator within the constraints of our current powers and recent real-term reductions in our resources,’ he added. 

The regulator has previously made recommendations to Ministers on how charity law could be reinforced.

ENDS

Issued by The Scottish Charity Regulator, Quadrant House, 9 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY.  For further information, contact Mark Simpson on 01382 220446 or 07920 274498 or email mark.simpson@oscr.org.uk

Background

  1. The Scottish Charity Regulator is the independent regulator and registrar of Scotland’s 23,700 charities and publishes the Scottish Charity Register at www.oscr.org.uk
  2. The Regulator’s vision is for charities in which the public has confidence and which provide public benefit.
  3. The new programme of Targeted Regulation is based on the charity regulator’s 10 years’ experience governing the country’s 23,700 charities.  Around 183,000 people in Scotland run charities as trustees, and the sector accounts for an annual income of some £10billion.  More information is available here.