Number of challenges received by the commission last year revealed

The Charity Commission received 66 challenges to its decision-making and use of powers in 2019/20, Third Sector has learned. 

A request made by Third Sector under the Freedom of Information Act revealed the regulator opened 51 decision reviews and was the subject of 15 tribunal appeals in the 12 months to the end of March 2020.

It is understood the total relates to not only regulatory cases but also to registrations, permissions, and other legal powers.

For comparison, the regulator’s latest accounts show 6,246 regulatory action cases were closed over the same period.

The Charities Act gives the commission a range of powers to make decisions, including whether or not to register charities, to give advice and guidance, to make schemes and orders and exercising its powers of investigation and remedy in cases of abuse.

Decisions include making directions such as actions specified of charity trustees and others in the administration of a charity. 

If the commission agrees to a decision review it will reconsider the original decision to determine whether it is legitimate and justifiable within the facts and circumstances of the case. 

The charity tribunal is an independent legal body which has the power to look again at some of the decisions made by the commission and to quash, change or add to them. 

Figures published last month revealed that the commission was the least likely of any major government department or body to fully respond to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act last year.

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