The Charity Commission will be quicker to use its regulatory powers and less likely to allow charities the benefit of the doubt, according to Paula Sussex, its chief executive. Sussex said that some proactive regulation had already been in place before she arrived at the commission in the summer, but more work was needed.
George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is facing criticism after telling a gathering of business leaders to speak out against the "anti-enterprise views" of charities and other groups. Several national newspapers have reported the Chancellor’s comments at the Institute of Directors’ annual convention in London last Friday.
The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager at Viva Palestina, the charity launched by George Galloway, the Respect Party MP for Bradford West, because of concerns about its financial management. A statement from the commission said that Helen Blundell of the accountancy firm MHA Bloomer Heaven had been appointed to take over the management of the charity from the trustees on a temporary basis on 15 September in order to protect the charity’s funds.
Charities are better at talking about transparency than actually being transparent, according to a new report from the consultancy nfpSynergy. Searching for Answers: How Good are Websites at Helping Charities be Transparent examines how easy it is to find information on the websites of 50 different charities. It says that few charities are "prepared to break free from the herd mentality" of showing as little information as they can.
The Charity Commission has appointed three of five new directors as part of a restructure of its senior management team. Kenneth Dibble, chief legal adviser and head of legal services, has been appointed director of legal services; Michelle Russell, head of investigations and enforcement, has become director of investigations, monitoring and enforcement; and Sarah Atkinson, head of information and communication, has taken the role of director of policy and communications. The three positions were advertised internally. The two remaining posts – chief operating officer and director of corporate services – have been filled respectively on an interim basis by Neville Brownlee, head of first contact, and Nick Allaway, head of business services.
Cage, the Islamic-focused human rights organisation that had its bank accounts closed earlier this year, has lodged a formal complaint with the financial ombudsman after spending the past five months operating with cash. In its complaint, the organisation, which works with communities affected by the war on terror and is one of a number of Muslim pressure groups and charities to have had their accounts withdrawn by various banks in recent months, said it "has only been able to pay its employees and its landlord with great difficulty".
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