New charities bill will widen the powers of the regulator

Legislation to give more powers to the Charity Commission has been widened to include measures to prevent disqualified trustees from working in senior management positions at charities and to allow voluntary sector organisations to make social investments.

In May's Queen's Speech, the government confirmed there would be a Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill. A draft version of the bill, which did not contain the senior positions provision or the sections on making social investments, was scrutinised by a joint parliamentary committee before the election, chaired by Lord Hope.

The new bill would give the regulator powers to direct that a charity be closed down after an inquiry and to issue official warnings to charities. The regulator would also be given a pre-emptive power to "stop a charity breaching the law – for example, such as intending to disclose personal data about its beneficiaries".

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