Charity Commission considers changes to its decision review process

The regulator asks for views on questions such as whether the scope of reviews should be amended

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission is considering making changes to the way it handles complaints about its decisions.

The commission has operated a decision review service since 2008, since when more than 250 decisions by the regulator have been challenged.

The decision review service can be used to challenge any decision that can be considered by the charity tribunal; challenge any decision in relation to Freedom of Information Act and data subject access requests; and make representations regarding a draft scheme or order that the commission is considering making.

But the commission is now asking whether it needs to make any changes to its review service to ensure that the process runs more smoothly and the decisions reached are correct. Among the points being considered for change by the commission are: whether the scope of decision reviews should be amended; whether all those applying for a review or making representations should have the opportunity to make oral representations; and whether any procedural changes could make the decision review process more efficient.

The commission is asking organisations and individuals to contribute to the review of the service by completing a survey by end of the month.

In a statement, the commission said: "In the course of its work, the Charity Commission makes a significant number of decisions covering a wide range of issues. When making decisions, we take a lot of trouble to ensure that the decision is correct and in the interests of the organisations and individuals involved.

"We do recognise, however, that from time to time a customer may consider that we have not taken the correct decision and this is where our procedures to review decisions come in."

During the 2011/12 financial year, the commission completed 49 reviews, of which 22 decisions were upheld, 18 were modified and eight were overturned. In one case, the applicant changed the basis of the review.

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