Charity Commission reduces opening hours of contact centre

Regulator says the move will cut costs by up to £100,000

The Charity Commission has reduced the opening hours of its contact centre in a move that will save the regulator up to £100,000 a year.

In 2007, as a trial, the commission extended the opening hours of the centre, which acts as the main point of contact between the regulator, charities and the public, by two hours on weekday evenings. It also began to open on Saturday mornings from 9am to 1pm.

But it has now announced that the centre will revert to its old opening times of 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, from 1 April.

It said that only 3 per cent of the 200,000 calls it received each year had been made during the periods covered by the extended opening hours.

A spokeswoman for the commission said the change would "lead to a reduction in cost of between £50,000 and £100,000 a year".

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said the move was a responsible use of resources.

"Charity trustees, employees and members of the public can go online 24 hours a day to email us, access the Register of Charities, and use the online services and all the information available on our website," he said. "Where people still need to speak to a trained adviser, they can continue to call us between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday."

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