Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator to refine its register after consultation process

Watchdog will cut annual return from five pages to two and offer online services

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is to press ahead with plans for an enhanced charity register and a shorter annual return after it received positive responses to a recent public consultation.

The OSCR proposals, announced at its annual open meeting last year, include cutting the annual return that all Scottish charities have to submit from five pages to two. The Scottish Charity Register will incorporate graphically displayed financial highlights, along the lines of those already offered by the Charity Commission.

The OSCR will also begin to offer online services, such as options to submit annual returns and changes to a charity's details.

Jane Ryder, chief executive of the OSCR, said the vast majority of the 57 responses to the consultation, which ran until the end of December, were positive. But she said some concerns were raised about the ability of charities to submit accurate information on the number of volunteers they had.

The summary of responses acknowledges there was an appetite for the online register to include charity accounts and lists of trustees. A minority of respondents felt that financial highlights could be misleading when read in isolation, and some also felt it was unfair to highlight charities that filed their documents late without mentioning the reasons.

Finalised proposals will be presented to the OSCR board later this year, with the changes taking effect next year.

Paul Jump recommends

The summary of responses

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