The government has made good progress in tackling red tape in the charity sector, according to a report published today by Lord Hodgson, chair of the Civil Society Red Tape Task Force.
Unshackling Good Neighbours – One Year On examines the progress made on 14 of 17 recommendations made by Hodgson, a Conservative peer, in a report he produced in April last year.
The remaining three recommendations in Hodgson’s report, to do with changes to the charitable licensing regime and two changes to simplify rules about permanent endowments, will be dealt with in the context of his separate review of the Charities Act.
In a statement accompanying the latest report, Hodgson said that volunteering and the voluntary sector were being held back by "a suffocating blanket of red tape and an insidious mythology about being sued".
But he said there was "a real willingness by national and local government" to tackle bureaucracy such as Criminal Records Bureau checks, although "more remains to be done".
He said there was still a need to change incorrect perceptions about the potential risk for volunteers, to tackle uneven enforcement by local government and to remove barriers to social investment.
Hodgson praised measures to improve contracting for smaller organisations, including support for consortia and better contract design.
He said that recommended changes to payroll giving were "a work in progress" and that efforts to allow charities to file a single set of documents with the Charity Commission, Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs faced "complexity" and "technological challenges".