Government says it will review fundraising self-regulation in 2017

In its response to reports from the Public Administration Select Committee and Lord Hodgson, the government also rejects calls to scrap national exemption orders

Street fundraising
Street fundraising

The government will review the self-regulation of fundraisers in 2017, it has said in response to reports from the Public Administration Select Committee and Lord Hodgson.

The government today published its response to both The Role of the Charity Commission and "Public Benefit": Post-legislative Scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006, published earlier this year by PASC, and Lord Hodgson’s statutory review of the Charities Act 2006, Trusted and Independent: Giving Charity Back to Charities, published last year.

In response to a recommendation made by Hodgson, supported by the PASC, the government says it agrees that fundraisers should continue to self-regulate but the self-regulation system should be "placed on notice" and reviewed in 2017.

"We will formally review the fundraising self-regulation scheme in 2017, and will report to parliament," the response says.

It says the Cabinet Office is working closely with fundraisers to ensure stronger self-regulation of fundraising and practical improvements to licensing public charity collections.

The response also supports a recommendation by Hodgson for proposals to be drawn up for "a sector-funded, public-facing, central self-regulatory body covering all aspects of fundraising".

The government’s response says it welcomes steps already taken by sector umbrella bodies to ensure there is a clear division of regulatory responsibilities.

"The Cabinet Office is funding some work by the main sector bodies involved in self-regulation to explore in more detail the opportunities for further rationalisation," the response says.

The government’s response also confirms that it will not abolish national exemption orders, which allow charities to collect house-to-house without needing separate licences, as recommended by the PASC.

"Abolishing NEOs would result in significant new regulatory burdens on the large charities that rely on them to generate significant funds," the response says. "However, there is a need to strengthen the system to ensure that the interests of small charities and local licensing authorities are not ignored."

The government will continue to work with the charity sector, local licensing authorities and other stakeholders to explore the options for change, the response says.

- Read other stories on the government's response to Lord Hodgson and PASC's reports by visiting our Big Issue

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