Charity Commission goes for a fundamental review

Regulator consults on plans to cut a quarter of its spending

Charity Commission chief executive Sam Younger
Charity Commission chief executive Sam Younger

The Charity Commission will offer voluntary redundancy to all its staff and consider shedding some of its legal obligations as it seeks to cut its spending by more than a quarter over the next four years.

Sam Younger, the commission's chief executive, has started a fundamental and wide-ranging review of its work and services in response to the announcement in the recent spending review that its budget will fall from £29.3m in the current year to £21.3m in 2014/15.

"It's not about saving money by trimming down all of the work we do," he told Third Sector. "It's about looking at how we can build an effective regulator on the £21m budget we have."

Voluntary redundancy packages would be offered to all staff in the next month, he said, and some senior managers would be made redundant.The commission has previously said there would be 140 redundancies.

It was likely that some areas of the commission's work would be cut back more than others, Younger added. Savings could also be made by using the review of the Charities Act, due to take place next year, to remove some of the commission's legal obligations, such as providing approval for the payment of trustees.

The commission has also launched an online public consultation about how it should save money, and is consulting staff on its intranet.

"This will involve making big decisions about which areas of our work have the most significance," said Younger.

"We can't expect a consultation to provide a neat, easy solution, but it is incumbent on us to give weight to all the thoughtful responses we get."

The final plan for the commission's new structure would be signed off by the board in April 2011, he said, and most of the changes would be in place by autumn 2012.

 


How the cash is spent... Commission directorates and some of their functions

£16.5m Charity Information and Corporate Services: ensuring the commission’s information on charities is up to date and accounts are submitted on time
£6m Charity Services: registering charities, running Charity Commission Direct
£5.9m Legal and Compliance: carrying out investigations and regulatory compliance cases
£3.3m Policy and Effectiveness: corporate affairs, performance and planning
£860k Governance: setting the commission’s strategy and future direction

(Figures are for 2009/10, when the total budget was £32.7m)

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