Charities Bill omits pay disclosure requirement for fundraisers

But the provisions will continue to be law despite not being in the consolidated legislation

Parliament
Parliament

Laws requiring professional fundraisers to tell potential donors how much they are being paid have been left out of the consolidated Charities Bill.

The bill, designed to simplify charity law by bringing together provisions of the Charities Act 2006, the Charities Act 1993 and the Recreational Charities Act 1958, does not include the parts of the 2006 act that say professional fundraisers must disclose their pay.

Part 3 of the 2006 act says that professional fundraisers must disclose "the method by which the fundraiser's remuneration in connection with the appeal is to be determined and the notifiable amount of that remuneration".

It also includes a "good practice requirement" that says charities should take "all reasonable steps" to make sure their fundraising work "does not unreasonably intrude on the privacy of those from whom funds are being solicited or procured", "does not involve the making of unreasonably persistent approaches to persons to donate funds" and "does not result in undue pressure being placed on persons to donate funds".

The provisions will, however, continue to be law, despite not being in the new bill.

Jonathan Burchfield, a partner at law firm Stone King, said: "Leaving these provisions out relegates them to a second division of legislation.

"The public needs to know how much fundraisers are being paid. It is hard enough for charities to ensure that professional fundraisers and commercial participators comply with these requirements. The chance to strengthen these provisions by including them in this new act should have been taken."

Lord Andrew Phillips, the Liberal Democrat peer, said: "I'm disappointed that the fundraising regulations are not in the consolidated bill, and if it had been up to me I would have made sure they were."

Asked whether the provisions might be put back into the bill when it was scrutinised in the House of Lords, he said: "There is not a chance they will be put back in. The legislative process would take too long."

A spokesman for the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, which regulates face-to-face fundraising, said: "These provisions will still be in the law and we will enforce them and make sure our members know about them. This will not lead to any diminution of standards in face-to-face fundraising."

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: "The bill consolidates the law relating to charities.  The fundraising provisions go much wider, covering charitable, philanthropic and benevolent purposes and in some cases covering professional fundraisers and commercial companies undertaking charity promotions."

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