The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched a consultation on exemptions from payment of ICO charges, which may impact on charities.
Save the date for our Annual Charity & Social Enterprise Tea Party which will be taking place on Monday 17th September. Further details will be circulated soon.
At a glance
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is recruiting three new board members for the Charity Commission for a term of three years.
British Telecommunications plc has been fined £77,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for sending emails promoting three charity initiatives.
The Code of Fundraising Practice has been updated to stress the need for telephone fundraising to comply with the legal requirements of the Telephone Preference Service.
The Government has announced £20 million of new funding to help isolated people and those suffering from loneliness.
The Government has launched a £20 million fund for culture, heritage and creative industries.
New service for updating charity details
The Commission has announced that it will shortly launch an improved service for keeping charity details up to date on the Register.
Board member vacancies
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has launched a campaign to appoint three new board members for the Charity Commission for a term of three years.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is seeking views as to whether the current exemptions from paying charges are still appropriate and whether there should be any new exemptions. Under the new system, all charities qualify to pay the fee for a tier 1 status organisation and the consultation asks whether this should be changed. The deadline for responses is 1st August.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) has been fined £77,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office after it sent nearly five million nuisance emails to customers. The investigation found that the company did not have customers’ consent to send direct marketing emails. The 4.9 million emails were sent between December 2015 and November 2016 promoting three charity initiatives: the BT ‘My Donate’ platform, Giving Tuesday and Stand up to Cancer.
Changes to Code re TPS
Following a consultation earlier this year, the Code of Fundraising Practice has been updated to stress the need for telephone fundraising to comply with the legal requirements of the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Changes include a short guide to compliance with TPS. In addition, telephone fundraising agencies are now no longer required to hold TPS Assured certification.
The ASA has held that administration of a prize competition by Quaker Oats was compliant with the CAP Code. The competition involved entrants submitting images of their porridge creations and the competition rules stated that the visual appeal of the image only counted for 25% of an entry’s final score. However, complainants felt that greater weight was given to this criterion and that while the advert for the promotion showed a photo being taken with a phone, in practice only professional quality entries had been selected as winners. See here for full details.
Health and social care
BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd has been fined £3 million for a health and safety breach (and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £151,482 to the Health and Safety Executive). A resident of a BUPA care home contracted Legionnaires’ disease, a serious waterborne form of pneumonia, and later died. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that for more than a year, when major refurbishment works were being carried out, BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd failed to implement the necessary control and monitoring measures required to safely manage their hot-and-cold water system. The investigation also found that those responsible for overseeing legionella controls and for taking crucial water temperature measurements had not been trained to the required standard.
Last week we mentioned that the government has published its final response to the Law Commission’s June 2017 report on pension funds and social investment. BWB’s Rebecca Claydon has provided this more detailed summary: Recommendations relating to contract-based pension schemes include the following:
Requiring independent governance committees (IGCs) to report on the firm’s policies in relation to evaluating risks to an investment in the long term, and considering and responding to members’ ethical and other concerns. Requiring IGCs to report on the firm’s policy (if any) on stewardship. The FCA should issue guidance for contract-based pension providers on financial and non-financial factors. The FCA intends to consult on a single package of rule changes relating to the above in the first quarter of 2019. It is also considering possible rule changes (or guidance) relating to the permitted links rules with regard to how pension schemes can manage some element of illiquid investment within their funds, and how they can produce unit prices for illiquid assets. The FCA will progress this work in the second half of 2018.
In this press release, the Government has announced £20 million of new funding to help isolated people and those suffering from loneliness. This includes the £11 million “Building Connections Fund” which will be distributed to applicants successful in proving they can help bring communities together. Applications will open in July 2018 with grants available until end of December 2020.
Geetha Rabindrakumar (Head of Engagement, Big Society Capital) celebrates Small Charity Week with an article that provides answers to the four challenges relating to social investment as faced by small charities. For example, she explains how social investment is not just available for large amounts.
To mark the 10 year anniversary of Esmee Fairbairn Foundation’s Social Investment Fund, they have released this report which provides an insight into the “Esmee Way” of investing. It also details a few interesting case studies and notes a few thoughts for the future.
NPC has published this Blog: What’s the chance your impact investment has an impact? by Anoushka Kenley.
ICSA has published new governance guidance “Create a positive culture in your sports organisation” (access to ICSA members only).
Ten sports-based community projects are to receive up to £50,000 as part of the government’s Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSBT) programme.
Culture and creative
The Government has launched a £20 million fund for culture, heritage and the creative industries “to benefit towns and cities across England”.
BOND reports the organisation “Publish What You Fund” has published its “Aid Transparency Index”. The index is the only independent measure of aid transparency among the world’s major development agencies. The index ensures donors disclose information on how they use aid, enabling the public to hold them to account for making good on their aid commitments, and encourages progress where it is needed. In the latest index:
- The UK Department for International Development (DFID) was rated as “very good”, scoring 90.9 out of 100 meaning it ranked 3rd out of 45 global donors.
- The Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO), however, was rated as “poor” and ranked 40th out of 45 donors, scoring just 34.3 out of 100. The “poor” rating represents no change in status from the previous index in 2014.
The Insolvency of Registered Providers of Social Housing Regulations 2018, SI 2018/728, which come into force on 4 July 2018, amend the Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Insolvency and Dissolution) Regulations 2012, SI 2012/3013 to provide for parts of the Insolvency Act 1986 to apply to registered societies and charitable incorporated organisations which are in housing administration.
In a recent case, an award decision of the MoD was set aside but the court declined to award the contract to the bidder (MLS) who had challenged the award decision. Even though MLS had a number of very strong points in its favour, the court declined to order the MoD to enter into a contract with it – the court made clear that such an order would only be made in exceptional circumstances but did not specifically articulate what those circumstances might be. (MLS (Overseas) Ltd v The Secretary of State for Defence  EWHC 1303 (TCC), 25 May 2018.)
OSCR has published an updated risk framework, see here, and the document itself. OSCR says that it has reduced the number of risk areas from ten to six, and adjusted some of the risk descriptions to better reflect the underlying issues and the regulatory action it might take. OSCR considers the key risks for the time being to be:
- Deliberate mismanagement of charities
- Criminal activity
- Charity trustees’ lack of knowledge
- Attempts to gain charitable status for private benefit
- Lack of clarity of the charity brand – bodies at the margins of charitable status and/or with complex or novel structures
- Charities that don’t provide public benefit
CCNI has published resources from its recent safeguarding seminar aimed at charities working with vulnerable beneficiaries overseas.
CCNI has opened a statutory inquiry into Northern Irish charity Morning Star House (NIC101035) which runs a hostel for the homeless in Belfast. CCNI’s statement says that the focus of the inquiry is safeguarding.
This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.
All content on this page is correct as of June 28, 2018.