Sarah Case, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander
The Charity Commission has recently outlined its new approach to regulation which places greater emphasis on preventing problems and identifying risks early, rather than dealing with them after they occur.
This Risk Framework explains to trustees, charity advisors and the wider public the Commission’s approach to regulation and how it assesses risks affecting charities, the wider charity sector, and public confidence.
The Commission will use the Framework to support its aims which are to assure the public that charity money is used in line with charity law, that charities are legitimate and run in line with their charitable purposes, as well as ensuring trustees carry out their duties and responsibilities and promoting high standards of accountability and governance in charities.
The document places a greater expectation on trustees to tackle risks head on, anticipating that if something goes wrong that it is their responsibility to put it right. The document also makes it clear that there will be greater expectation for trustees’ to tackle issues of potential risk to their charities.
The Commission will place emphasis not on charities’ internal disputes, but focus on a three-stage process to decide how and when to investigate charities and will focus only on cases of serious risk.
As long as trustees act lawfully and reasonably, the Commission will not intervene or overturn decisions, no matter how unpopular they may be with beneficiaries or the public. The Commission’s investigations going forward will be statutory, rather than regulatory cases.
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