Scottish Government slated for “tinkering” with charity law

Consultation

Strongly worded letter says review doesn't go far enough 

23rd April 2019 by Robert Armour 2 Comments

Scottish ministers have missed the opportunity to overhaul charity law with proposed changes merely “tinkering around” and failing to tackle key concerns.

Anna Fowlie, chief executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has written to Aileen Campbell, minister for communities, calling the current consultation to amend charity law a “missed opportunity” that is merely “tinkering around the edges.”

Proposals including creating a register of trustees and removing from the register any charities that don’t "have and retain a connection in Scotland" don’t go far enough according to SCVO.

Fowlie said: "There is a real risk that the current proposed changes are simply tinkering around the edges, when the environment that charities now operate in has changed significantly since the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act was passed in 2005.

"Given that legislative time is scarce, we think this is a missed opportunity and would ask you to broaden out the scope of the review."

SCVO has called for SCVO the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) to be made independent of government and legally required to report to the Scottish parliament rather than to ministers.

It also wants the definition of charity to be redefined as well as a new definition of public benefit.

Thirteen years on from the current legislation coming into force "we are still struggling with the identity of modern charity," the letter states. SCVO says that there should be some unifying form of common identity that makes a charity unique in Scotland but that is impossible without a clear definition of public benefit.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Our consultation on reform of the Scotland’s charity regulation framework ran to the 1 April and received over 300 responses. We are currently analysing those responses.

“The letter from SCVO has been received and will be responded to in due course.”

23rd April 2019 by Mat Roberts

These are good suggestion. It would ahve been helpful if they had been in the public domain during the consultation and those of us whop responded could have made the suggestions in our response if we agreed with them,.

24th April 2019 by Douglas

Let's talk about Councillors being able to sit as directors on such charities that receive government grants, giving them an extra pension, severance and salary.Corruption across the board.I'm happy with his love aslong as it's more transparent. Too many MPs and Councillors with fingers in the till.