Charity Commission review of its new powers fails to address concerns comprehensively

The Charity Commission’s response to its consultation on its powers to issue public warnings to charities and to remove trustees falls short of a credible way ahead says charity leaders network ACEVO.

Commenting, Interim Chief Executive Asheem Singh said: “With power comes responsibility yet the Charity Commission has failed to exercise appropriate due care in connection with their new statutory powers.

“A wider range of safeguards on its new powers to issue warnings is required for these are powers which if exercised inappropriately, could damage the reputation of charities.

“The idea that the only right of recourse for charities that believe a warning has been unfairly administered remains to seek judicial review is capricious and without merit. A tribunal is the most obvious recourse where appeal is merited, that would cost donors and taxpayers less.The Commission should urgently seek this dispensation from the Government. Judicial Review as the principal means of appeal is neither feasible nor credible nor proportionate.

“Taxpayers and the charitable sector deserve a great deal better, both in terms of regulatory safeguards and value for money.

“We welcome that charities are to be given 28 days rather than 14 to construct their cases. And that publication of any warning will be determined on a case-by-case basis – though this remands significant discretion in the hands of the regulator at a time when what is needed is certainty.”

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