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July 7th, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

charity-governance-consultancy.jpgMost of the provisions of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 came into force in July 2016.

Much of it may seem dry and far removed from the everyday operation of most charities.  But if your charity is badly run or your trustees inept or worse, you must expect the full weight of the invigorated and empowered Charity Commission banging on your door.

It will soon be able to exercise its new regulatory powers – protecting charities in the spirit of the new Act.

So make sure your charity governance is up to scratch!

Many more powers

Many of the act’s changes, unsurprisingly in view of its title, aim at protecting charities, mainly by strengthening the arm of the Charity Commission as regulator.

The provisions coming into effect in July include powers for the Charity Commission:

  • to investigate and suspend,
  • to remove trustees following an inquiry and on disqualification
  • to prevent specified actions
  • to direct winding up
  • to direct property transfers to another charity
  • to disqualify from being a trustee
  • to control fund-raiding
  • to make social investments

With more still to come

Further parts of the Act come into force in October 2016.  These are likely to include in particular the Commission’s power both to make and to publicise Official Warnings to trustees and charities. See my blog post of February 2016 Will your charity soon be at risk of a yellow card?.

There should also be some more regulation of fundraising

The most controversial  provisions in the Act, those enabling automatic disqualification from being a trustee, remain outstanding.  

Offender rehabilitation

During the Parliamentary passage of the Act commitments were made to engage with charities involved in the rehabilitation of offenders and for there to be a more detailed assessment  of the impact of these provisions on ex-offenders. It is likely to be 2017 before these provisions see the light of day.

Time for a tidy up?

Do get in touch if you’re thinking that this could be a good time to start updating your charity’s governance.

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Geoffrey Hand

Geoffrey Hand is a charity governance consultant, offering governance consultancy and training. He also provides legal services management, helping charities get better value for money from their lawyers. Geoffrey has extensive experience in the charity and legal worlds, and his mission is to help charities deliver good governance.

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