Regulator's announcement that register would go fully digital 'published in error'

The Charity Commission published a notice on its website this morning saying that by 2017 it would no longer display documents received by post and email on the charities register

The Charity Commission has retracted an announcement made earlier today that pledged it would go 100 per cent digital by 2017, saying it was published in error.

The commission published a notice on its website at about 11.30am announcing that it would no longer display documents received by post and email on the register for charities.

It said it was doing this because it wanted to stop the process of uploading to its system the numerous documents it received by post and email because this was costly in terms of both time and money and could cause a delay for charities in the processing of their accounts.

"As a result, from 1st January 2017 the commission will no longer display documents received by post and email on the register of charities," it said.

"This means that if you send the commission paper copies of your accounts, it will acknowledge on its website that it has received them, but it will no longer display them."

But the notice was removed from the website after less than half an hour and a spokeswoman told Third Sector it had been published in error.

A spokesman for the commission later issued a statement, saying: "Whilst we are exploring ways in which we can encourage more charities to file their accounts digitally, the piece today was published in error and is incorrect. 

"We will continue to communicate with charities about any changes and their differing needs. We will shortly be publishing a survey to seek feedback from the public and charities on our digital strategy."

It is not known what error led to the notice being published.

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