The Ministry of Justice has announced the preferred bidders in the Transforming Rehabilitation programme, with charity, voluntary or social sector groups involved in 20 of the 21 consortia due to be awarded payment-by-results contracts for the management of low and medium-risk offenders. However, the Howard League for Penal Reform says private companies, not charities, are the real winners under the scheme.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has launched a review of the Charity Commission’s governance arrangements, saying it wants to ensure the regulator "can never again be accused of political bias in its work". The review will be overseen by the umbrella body’s chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington and a small advisory panel, and is due to be concluded by next summer.
The Fundraising Standards Board has upheld a complaint that a Save the Children appeal to help pregnant women in Liberia was misleading because it suggested that donations would be of direct benefit to the child of the woman pictured on the charity’s advertising materials. The FRSB said that the misleading statement, which was used in a direct-mail campaign and a fundraising web page, was the result of a lack of attention to detail during the copywriting and sign-off process for the campaign.
More than one in three people have low levels of trust in charities, according to a study by the think tank NPC. The report, Matter of Trust, also found that the public are less likely to trust charities involved in political campaigning.
The Woodland Trust has lost an appeal in a legacy dispute about £325,000 of a deceased supporter’s money, in a case it said would have ramifications for other charities. The court of appeal rejected the charity’s contention that a will made by Valerie Smith in 2001should not be subject to subsequent changes to the law on the inheritance tax nil rate band, meaning that the charity received only £30,805.
Union members at the homelessness charity St Mungo’s Broadway are to strike for a further 10 days as part of a continuing dispute over pay and conditions. Members of the Unite union walked out for seven days last week over what Unite called "sweeping changes" to employees’ terms and conditions and to HR practices after the merger of St Mungo’s and Broadway earlier this year.
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