Regulator 'must keep its work on rogue charities in proportion'

Sam Younger, chief executive of the Charity Commission, says wrong-doers are a "damaging but very tiny element" and routine activities should not be undervalued

Sam Younger
Sam Younger
  • This story has been clarified: see final paragraph

The Charity Commission must not over-prioritise "hard-edged" compliance work such as tackling rogue charities at the expense of its more routine activities, according to Sam Younger, its chief executive. 

Speaking at a public meeting of the commission in Nottingham yesterday, Younger said that, despite its limited resources, the commission needed to make sure that everything it did had a value in terms of maintaining public confidence in charities. 

Younger said that since the publication of the Public Accounts Committee report that raised concerns about the commission's ability to police wrong-doers in the sector, there had been a push for the commission to focus more on making sure it tackled such rogue charities. 

"Wrong-doers are a very tiny minority of a very large sector," he said. "We need to make sure we don't get this out of proportion and are not focusing all our attention on the damaging but very tiny element that might be in the sector."

The commission’s budget is to fall from £29.3m in 2010/11 to £20.4m in 2014/15.

Younger later told Third Sector that the commission accepted the need to do more high-risk compliance work, which had been part of its 2011 strategic review. 

"The only thing we have to keep in mind is that in the resource-limited environment that we're in there is a wide range to what the commission does," he said. "This high-risk compliance work is an incredibly important part of what we want to do, but it's not the whole story. 

"I just want to raise a warning so that we don't undervalue some of those more routine things."

  • The first paragraph originally said 'prioritise' instead of 'over-prioritise'

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