Further measures on fundraising might be introduced to the charities bill

The review of fundraising self-regulation, announced at the weekend, will report in September, before the bill has been finalised

Telephone fundraising
Telephone fundraising

Further measures on fundraising could be introduced to the charities bill as a result of the review of the self-regulation of fundraising that was announced by the government at the weekend.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has already pledged to add extra clauses to the bill to make fundraising agencies say in their contracts with charities how they will protect the vulnerable, and to oblige charities to give details of their fundraising activities in their annual reports.

Now the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, has confirmed that more additions could be made to the bill if the review concludes they are necessary. "If further measures are needed, there will be the opportunity to do that," he said in an interview with Third Sector.

The review, led by Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, is expected to report by 19 September, when the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill will not yet have been finalised.

"The idea is that the review will be ready before the bill has cleared," said Etherington. "It’s a tight timetable."

He said the review’s terms of reference were to assess the effectiveness of the existing system of self-regulation and of the methods it uses to set standards of conduct.

He said other issues were whether membership was wide enough of the Fundraising Standards Board, which currently includes charities that receive half of giving in the UK, and whether the FRSB should have stronger sanctions.

The division of responsibility between the FRSB, the Institute of Fundraising and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association was also on the agenda, said Etherington, as was the relationship between charities and agencies that raised funds on their behalf.

He said the review would need to talk to the Information Commissioner’s Office about the use of personal data by charities and to the Charity Commission about its review of its CC20 guidance on the responsibilities of chairs and chief executives for fundraising.

Etherington said he planned to meet other self-regulatory bodies, such as the Advertising Standards Authority and the Professional Standards Authority, which oversees statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals. He said he would also talk to some chairs and chief executives at individual charities.

The other members of the review are expected to be Baroness Pitkeathley (Labour), Lord Leigh of Hurley (Conservative) and Lord Wallace of Saltaire (Liberal Democrat).

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