Third Sector reported on 14 April that the draft Charities Bill would come out in the middle of May. While the exact date is still open to speculation, the process through which the bill passes is worth understanding.
Once released, it goes through a phase called pre-legislative scrutiny (PLS). At this stage, a team of 12 members of both the House of Lords and Commons form the PLS committee and would seek to answer key questions.
Does the bill translate policy into a proper legal framework and has anything been added, or omitted from the strategy unit report unintentionally?
The PLS committee will issue a general invitation for written evidence to be submitted. This is our chance to feed in comment. In addition, invitations will be issued to some organisations to give oral evidence.
The Institute will be collecting your thoughts and views on fundraising matters on the Bill and will put forward a robust argument where necessary.
However, this is not to be confused with a general consultation period.
That happened when the Strategy Unit report came out 18 months or so ago.
All legislation is subject to other events and activities and no doubt the sector press will be full of speculative stories of the possible impact of the EU referendum, and so forth, on the bill. An early general election would certainly upset the process.
Still, it all seems to be on schedule. Now we can look at the content, especially the public collections proposals when they are finally released.
Until then, and over the coming months, just drop some knowing comment about pre-legislative scrutiny into conversation to dazzle or confuse your boss!