OSCR strikes Scottish Screen from charities register

Development agency for film and television failed to amend its constitution

The development agency for the film, television and digital industries in Scotland will be removed from the charities register after an inquiry by the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator.

In 2007, the regulator directed Scottish Screen to amend sections of its constitution that allowed Scottish ministers to appoint or dismiss its board of governors, chairman and vice-chairman.

But after no changes were made, the OSCR issued a notice of removal on 1 May.

Scottish Screen, a non-departmental public body, confirmed that it had had its charitable status revoked but made no further comment.

The charity has 21 days to appeal against the decision but appears unlikely to do so.

The 2005 Scottish Charities Act says organisations whose constitutions permit Scottish or UK ministers to direct or control their activities do not meet the "charity test", although the Scottish Government is allowed to exempt charities from the legislation.

The OSCR is legally obliged to remove offending charities from the register if they do not change their constitutions.

Stephen Maxwell, associate director of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: "We believe it is important that bodies that can be directed by ministers should not be accepted as charities."

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