Scottish regulator to publish accounts of charities with incomes of more than £25,000

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator's plan, announced last summer, has now been approved in a public consultation

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator will publish on its website the accounts of charities with annual incomes of more than £25,000, after the proposal met with approval in a public consultation.

Unlike the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the OSCR has not made accounts submitted to it available online, although individual charities are legally obliged to provide their latest accounts to the public on request.

The plan to follow the Charity Commission’s lead was announced in the OSCR’s annual report last summer.

A subsequent public consultation asked whether this should happen, along with other suggestions including requiring Scottish charities to report any known or alleged links to terrorist groups and publishing the names of charities’ trustees online.

The proposal to publish accounts gained support from the umbrella body the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

According to a newsletter sent out by the OSCR today, more than 300 responses were received.

The newsletter says the OSCR will publish its full report on all the consultation proposals "in the next few weeks".

The newsletter says: "One item that we are working on as we speak is our plan to publish [on the register] the annual reports and accounts for all Scottish charitable incorporated organisations, and for charities with annual incomes of more than £25,000.

"We believe it’s a big step in reinforcing transparency and, ultimately, public confidence. The public already has the right of access to charities’ most recent set of accounts on request, so this proposal makes it easier to view useful information about charities and their work."

The newsletter says one issue that needs to be resolved is how to remove signatures of trustees from published accounts, which OSCR said in the consultation was necessary for reasons of data protection. Signatures are not removed from the accounts of English and Welsh charities.

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