Public benefit guidance among top commission achievements

The publication of the Charity Commission’s public benefit guidance was one of the most significant achievements in the “eventful and challenging” final year of the regulator’s three-year strategic review, according to its annual report.

The guidance was published in January after a consultation that elicited an unprecedented number of responses.

In their introduction to the commission's annual report, chief executive Andrew Hind and chair Dame Suzi Leather also praise the commission's revision of its CC9 campaigning guidance and the publication of its risk and proportionality framework, as well as its work to raise awareness of the sector among MPs, peers and the Welsh Assembly (http://new.wales.gov.uk/splash) members.

But they admit the Treasury's decision to cut the commission's budget by 5 per cent per year for the next three years has led to it having to make "difficult decisions about activities and resources", and forced it to prioritise its compliance work.

"Public trust and confidence in charity depends on consistent and confident regulation," they say.

Other achievements cited in the report include:

  • "Maintaining an accurate picture of the charity sector", with 4,953 new charities registered and 5,073 removed from the register
  • Answering 15,500 enquiries from smaller charities - 99 per cent within 15 working days
  • Implementing various provisions in the Charities Act 2006, including those allowing charities to change outdated objects and for smaller charities to transfer their assets
  • Introducing a new online annual return facility
  • Making 1,600 legal schemes and orders
  • Winning the operational delivery category in the Whitehall and Westminster World Civil Service awards

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