Scottish regulator asks charities to review their constitutions

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has invited charities north of the border to review their constitutions.

The watchdog has released a briefing note clarifying how the sector should proceed following the recent announcement of the pilot results of its rolling review of Scottish charities.

The document, OSCR Briefing Note – Use of the Terms ‘Charitable’ and ‘Charitable Purposes’ in Constitutions, spells out the purpose of the exercise – to establish whether organisations comply with the definition of charity in Scottish law. It also provides guidance on what ‘charitable’ means, and includes a model wording that could be used in constitutions.

“We would recommend that charity trustees regularly review their charities’ constitutions as a matter of good governance,” the note says. It makes clear, however, that charities will not be prosecuted if they don’t review their constitutions before they get assessed under the rolling review.

Mark Simpson, a spokesperson for the OSCR, said that the notes followed on from the pilot results and were meant as a resource for charities wanting to find out more.


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