Cuts might harm services, warns Charity Commission

Regulator's accounts describe threat of reduced funding as 'key priority'

The threat of significant reductions in funding is the biggest challenge facing the Charity Commission’s risk management activities, according to its latest accounts.

The accounts, published with the regulator’s annual report last week, describe the threat as the "key priority" for the board and directors.

The commission said in May that its budget for 2010/11 was, in real terms, £5.5m less than in 2005/06. By March 2011, it will have shed 178 jobs in six years.

Dame Suzi Leather, the regulator’s chair, warned MPs last year that the commission would have to stop giving advice and guidance to charities if its budget was cut any further.

The accounts also reveal that senior officials saw their salaries fall in 2009/10. Andrew Hind, the chief executive, was paid in the region of £125,000 to £130,000, including performance-related pay and bonuses, in 2009/10. This was down from between £130,000 and £135,000 in 2008/09.

Rosie Chapman, executive director of policy and effectiveness, saw her pay drop to the region of £85,000 to £90,000 in 2009/10, down from £90,000 to £95,000 the previous year.

A spokeswoman for the commission said the variation in their salaries was due mainly to bonus levels.

Revealed in the accounts

  • The number of days lost to staff sickness increased to an average of 7.5 days in 2009/10, compared with 6.5 days in the previous year.
  • The commission’s expenditure totalled £32.7m in 2009/10, down from £33.2m in 2008/09.
  • The expenditure of £32.7m was on five strategic objectives: increasing public trust and confidence in charities (£2.9m); promoting awareness of the public benefit requirement (£654,000); promoting trustee compliance with legal obligations (£10.8m); promoting the effective use of resources (£7.5m); and enhancing accountability (£10.7m).
  • A rise of £268,000 to £2.19m in spending on "specialist services" was to pay for legal advice for court and tribunal cases.

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