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Why we redact accounts

03 Jul 2017

Charities advised to send OSCR a link to their website with full reports and accounts.

Charity reports and accounts are already public - the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005allows anyone to receive a copy of them on request.  These documents allow the public to find out more about what a charity does - and making them available gives charities the opportunity to show the positive impact they are having in Scotland and beyond.

In April 2016 we started to publish the reports and accounts of all charities with an income of £25,000 or more and all SCIOs.   Transparency and accountability are important drivers for public trust and confidence, and we felt that publishing these reports and accounts would stimulate higher levels of transparency across the sector.

Since then, we have often been asked…

“Why do you redact accounts on the Scottish Charity Register?”

The answer is that our current legislation does not make it possible for us to publish reports and accounts without redacting them first.  This is because of data protection concerns. 

This is not the case for the Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) where the legislation is slightly different and allows publication without redaction.  We are in the process of producing recommendations as to how a change in legislation might allow us to publish more easily.  However, any possible change will take some time.

The best way for a charity to share their reports and accounts through the register is by publishing their accounts on their own website and linking this to their entry on the register. Charities can then use this page to share other information about the charity's activities and impact.

To do this, charities can send us their link by emailing or provide the link when they complete their online annual return. Guidance on completing an online annual return can be found here.