NCVO sets up panel to scrutinise Charities Act

Experts will shadow the government's statutory five-year review of 2006 law

Baroness Howe of Idlicote
Baroness Howe of Idlicote

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has set up a panel of experts to scrutinise the operation of the Charities Act 2006 in parallel to the government’s own review of the legislation.

The act, which introduced wide-ranging reforms to charity law, includes a provision that it must be reviewed after five years. The government has until November this year to appoint someone to lead this review.

The new NCVO panel, called the Charity Law Review Advisory Group, will carry out an independent review of the act that will take place alongside the government’s review. It will be chaired by Baroness Howe of Idlicote, a cross-bench peer and member of the NCVO’s advisory council.

An NCVO spokeswoman said this would focus on the act’s effect on public trust and confidence in charities, and would also look at areas of the act that are unclear or have been identified as causing heavy regulatory burdens.

The group will hold its first meeting in the autumn and report on its findings in spring 2012. Members include Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross, and Rosie Chapman, the former director of policy and effectiveness at the Charity Commission.

Howe said: "This is a great opportunity to review how we can improve and clarify existing law to ensure charities operate in a truly modern legal framework while maintaining public confidence in the sector."

The members of the Charity Law Review Advisory Group are:
- Lord Low of Dalston, president of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment and former chair of the RNIB
- Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive, NCVO
- Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive, British Red Cross
- Rosie Chapman, former director of policy and effectiveness, Charity Commission
- Dominic Fox, chief executive, Association of Charitable Organisations
- Stephen Lloyd, senior partner, Bates Wells & Braithwaite
- Francesca Quint, barrister, Radcliffe Chambers
- Christine Rigby, partner, Bates Wells & Braithwaite
- John Stoker, founding chief executive of the Mayor’s London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund and former Chief Charity Commissioner.

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