Charity Commission must maintain regulatory role, sector bodies say

It is essential for public trust and confidence in the sector, they tell the consultation on the regulator's future

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission should prioritise the maintenance of a high standard of regulation in the face of proposed cuts in its budget, umbrella bodies have told the regulator.

Organisations including the umbrella body the NCVO, the Charity Finance Directors' Group and the local charity umbrella body Navca were responding to the consultation on the commission's strategic review, which closed last week.

They said it was vital for public trust and confidence in the sector that the commission maintained its regulatory role.

The commission, which has been told it will receive a 33 per cent cut in its funding, had proposed a "light-touch" regulatory regime as one of the options in its consultation document.

"The regulatory remit of the Charity Commission is essential to maintain even in the context of reduced resources," the response from the NCVO read. "The regulation it provides is essential to protect the public trust and confidence that are essential to the sector."

Several umbrella bodies also said the commission could use them to provide advice and guidance to charities, which could be more effective than the commission's current system.

"Using the wide range of umbrella organisations, like the CFDG, to pass on guidance and information would free up resources and enable the commission to have even greater reach," the CFDG response said.

Working with other organisations to provide support and develop the sector could also reduce the levels of tailored advice provided by the Charity Commission, it said.

Navca said it would be keen to explore how it could give advice currently provided by the commission, but cautioned that it was essential that small charities should continue to be able to access advice.

The umbrella bodies said they also supported an option that would allow charities to submit a single set of accounts, rather than having to make submissions to both the commission and Companies House.

The NCVO said it would not be opposed to raising the income threshold needed to register with the commission to £10,000, but that charities should have the right to register if they requested.

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