More delays on charitable incorporated organisations and licensing of public collections

Both were provided for in 2006 Charities Act but have not been implemented

The introduction of charitable incorporated organisations, a new legal form for charities, will not take place until next year at the earliest, the Office for Civil Society has said.

Provision for the new structure, which would allow charities to incorporate without registering with both the Charity Commission and Companies House, was included in the Charities Act 2006.

The form was originally expected to be introduced in 2008, but has been delayed several times because of a lack of resources and problems with the complexity of creating an entirely new type of legal entity.

An OCS spokesman said the department was also still considering whether to implement a new licensing scheme for public collections, which was also introduced by the act.

It is also uncertain whether it will press ahead with plans for a consolidation bill, which would draw together the many pieces of charity legislation. The former Office of the Third Sector hoped to introduce it during the last parliament.

"A decision on whether to take forward the consolidation bill will be made in due course and will be subject to the availability of parliamentary time," the spokesman said.

Nicola Evans, a senior associate at specialist charity lawyer Bircham Dyson Bell, said the OCS announcement was disappointing but not surprising.

"This is a complicated process and it's important that it's done right," she said. "So in some ways it is good that they are taking their time.

"We also understand that there are limited resources to dedicate to the sector. It's a complex situation, and the OCS has to stack things up against many other priorities."

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