New Charity Commission chief Sam Younger reveals how it might save money

Watchdog could lose up to a third of its budget in government spending cuts, he warns

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

Sam Younger, who took over as chief executive of the Charity Commission last week, has signalled where cuts might be made in its services if its funding from the government is further reduced in next month's spending review.

His list includes reducing one to one telephone advice to charities, a reduction in investigations of smaller charities, and moving more services online.

In an interview with Third Sector on his first day in the job, Younger said the commission might decide not to investigate complaints against charities whose incomes were below a certain level.

"I'll be looking at the criteria by which we decide to investigate an allegation of malpractice," he said. "If resources are tight, one option is to raise the threshold below which you'd decide not to look at something."

Younger also said the commission may have to scale back its advice and guidance function.

Currently, charities are able to receive one-to-one advice over the phone about how to interpret its guidance, but this could be seen as a luxury rather than a requirement, he said. Guidance could be published online and charities would be unable to receive any further advice from the commission.

The commission might also remove its requirement that charities ask its permission to pay a trustee, he said.

Younger added that there could be further efficiency savings, but acknowledged that his predecessor Andrew Hind had already made a number of staff redundant.

"Difficult and uncomfortable for some charities these decisions may be, but these are the choices we have to make," he explained.

Read further comments made by Younger to Third Sector about austerity measures, public confidence and the watchdog's dual role.

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