Government to hold 'light-touch' review of Fundraising Regulator

The DCMS says it wants to review the progress of the regulator to ensure it is fulfilling its role

The government is to conduct a "light-touch" review of the Fundraising Regulator later this year.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s annual report and accounts for the year to the end of March, published last week, include a section that talks about the department’s future plans and says the department will "review the Fundraising Regulator".

Asked for further details about the review, a DCMS spokeswoman told Third Sector: "We want to undertake a light-touch review of the progress of the Fundraising Regulator to ensure that it is fulfilling the role as set out in the Etherington Review of 2015.

"This will be undertaken within the department in the second half of 2018."

The Fundraising Regulator was launched in 2016 after recommendations were made by Sir Stuart Etherington’s review of fundraising regulation, which was commissioned by the government in the wake of the negative media attention around the Olive Cooke story.

A spokeswoman for the Fundraising Regulator said it welcomed the review. "The government accepted the recommendations of the 2015 cross-party review of fundraising regulation, which itself recommended that a progress review took place after the set-up period," she said.

Aside from the review, the DCMS accounts say the government will "progress work on developing a bold, long-term civil society strategy that will shape the government’s work with, and for, our sectors". The strategy is expected to be published next month.

The department will also respond to the Law Commission’s report on charity law, published last year, which recommended removing unnecessary bureaucracy that affects charities while ensuring proper protections for the public remained in place.

The accounts show that the government’s spending on civil society fell from slightly more than £1bn in 2016/17 to £705m last year.

This was mainly down to a £200m fall in spending by the Big Lottery Fund, the DCMS spokeswoman said.

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