Committee of MPs to hear from heads of umbrella bodies in regulation inquiry

The Public Administration Select Committee is looking into the recommendations made by the Hodgson review of the Charities Act 2006

A parliamentary committee room
A parliamentary committee room

The heads of the major voluntary sector umbrella bodies will next month appear before the Public Administration Select Committee as part of its inquiry into charity regulation.

The cross-bench group of MPs, which is chaired by the Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, is carrying out an inquiry into the regulation of the charitable sector and the Charities Act 2006, following Lord Hodgson’s review.

Hodgson, whose recommendations from his review of the Charities Act 2006 were published in July, will appear before the committee on 16 October.

The committee has announced that Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Sir Stephen Bubb, head of the chief executives body Acevo, Joe Irvin, chief executive of the local infrastructure body Navca, Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, Alistair McLean, chief executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, Sally de la Bedoyere, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, and Cath Lee, chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition, will appear before the committee on 23 October.

Hodgson’s review, which was critical of the way fundraising complaints are dealt with, recommended that the main bodies involved in the regulation of fundraising – the PFRA, the FRSB and the IoF – discuss how the current system could be improved.

The trio have already agreed that the FRSB will be the public-facing regulatory body and point of contact for the public about any type of fundraising; that the IoF will be the standards setter and writer of rules and codes for all fundraising, against which the FRSB will adjudicate; and that the PFRA will cease to deal with complaints but will continue to play a specialist role in setting up and monitoring agreements with local authorities on face-to-face fundraising.

The government has not yet responded to Hodgson’s review, which contained more than 100 recommendations, including the withdrawal of Gift Aid for charities that file their accounts late, allowing charities with annual incomes of more than £1m to pay trustess without having to gain the commission’s consent and raising the annual income threshold for compulsory registration with the commission from £5,000 to £25,000.

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