Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 25 September

Bates Wells highlights

With support from Unbound Philanthropy, Bates Wells has produced guidance tackling some of the main issues and considerations that charities need to explore before campaigning or funding a campaign. Copies of our “Charity Campaigning guide and toolkit” and “Grant funding campaigns guide” can be downloaded here.


At a glance

The Charity Commission’s survey about its safeguarding guidance closes on 30 September.

The new Code of Fundraising Practice will come into effect on 1 October 2019.

The Institute for Government has published a report “Government outsourcing – what has worked and what needs reform?”


Charity Commission

Safeguarding guidance

The Charity Commission’s survey about its safeguarding guidance closes next week, on 30 September.  For the background and link to the survey, see this blogpost which we summarised back in July.

Inquiry report

Name of organisation Brief description Anything unusual e.g. unusual facts or novel/rare use of Commission’s powers
Grove Mountain (former registered charity 1162684)
          
Decision and CC press release
The inquiry was opened after a third party raised concerns about the financial arrangements of the charity, which supported education in Jamaica.
          
The trustees said that they were building a bathroom and installing IT suites at Jamaican schools, but failed to demonstrate to the commission how charitable funds were spent.
          
The financial concerns included that none of the used computer equipment purchased by the charity had been distributed to beneficiaries and the equipment was found to have no value. The inquiry found evidence that a small proportion of the charity’s funds had been spent in fast food chains and high street clothing retailers in the UK. The trustees informed the inquiry that cash paid to an individual related to the shipping costs of second hand computers to Jamaica. However, the trustees were not able to provide evidence to the inquiry to show that these funds were actually used to meet shipping costs.
The inquiry removed two of the trustees of the charity, having found that their conduct amounted to misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity, and that it was necessary or desirable to do so to protect charity property.
An Interim Manager was appointed to address specific issues within the charity, including securing its assets and making a decision about its future. The IM concluded that the charity did not have a viable future and reached a decision to wind up its affairs and transfer its remaining funds to The Jamaica Basic Schools Foundation (UK) (1057624
.

New inquiry

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Human Aid UK (1138111), the second time the charity has been under inquiry within five years. The charity reported a serious incident to the commission in July after individuals carrying cash on behalf of the charity were stopped at a port by the police, and the commission subsequently opened a new inquiry. The inquiry is examining the trustees’ management and administration of the charity, including their compliance with charity law and the charity’s governance, adherence to policies and procedures, use of partners and monitoring and verification of overseas expenditure. The inquiry has already exercised its power to restrict the trustees from certain cash transactions in order to protect the charity’s property.

MoU with the ICO

The commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which establishes a framework for cooperation and information sharing between the Information Commissioner and the Charity commission, see here.


Brexit

Funding

The Government has introduced the HMG Guarantee to provide continued funding for UK beneficiaries participating in EU programmes in the event of a no-deal. The main initiatives this covers include:

1)    Creative Europe

2)    Europe for Citizens

3)    Connecting Europe Facility and Telecoms

NICVA reports the SEUPB (Special EU Programmes Body) has provided reassurance about continued PEACE IV and INTERREG funding until 2023, even in the advent of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Procurement

The Cabinet Office has published updated guidance on public procurement to help stakeholders prepare for the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place. The updated guidance provides details of a new UK e-notification service to be introduced for advertising UK public contract opportunities in a no-deal scenario. The service will be called Find a Tender.

Environment

The House of Commons have released a report on Brexit and the effects on the agriculture and environment generally, including an analysis of the effects on new regulations and trade in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Immigration

Bates Wells’ Partner Chetal Patel has written this blog about how EU nationals and those engaged in the voluntary sector can prepare for a no-deal Brexit.


Elections and campaigning

Bates Wells has produced guidance, with support from Unbound Philanthropy, tackling some of the main issues and considerations that charities need to explore before undertaking or funding a campaign – copies of the “Charity Campaigning guide and toolkit” and “Grant funding campaigns guide” can be downloaded here.  


Fundraising 

Code of Fundraising Practice

The Fundraising Regulator’s September newsletter confirms that the new Code of Fundraising Practice comes into effect on 1 October 2019 – previously the exact date in October hadn’t been announced. 

Fundraising Regulator investigations

Following its decision earlier this year to publish the outcome of its investigations quarterly, the Fundraising Regulator has published its first batch of investigations. The majority relate to face to face fundraising/ charity bag complaints.  

The FR has also created a new library of its investigations on its website which will be updated on a quarterly basis.

Fundraising preference service

The FR has published the latest list of charities which have failed to log on to the Fundraising Preference Service charity portal to access requests from the public to stop communication.

Notices from Compounding Action/Fundraising Bureau of Investigations Ltd

The Fundraising Regulator has issued a press release warning about notices being issued to charities and others by:

Compounding Action (registered company number 10879744), which says the owners of clothing banks have failed to comply with various Acts of Parliament or Regulations. Fundraising Bureau of Investigations Ltd (registered company number 11807195), claiming that it is conducting an industry wide investigation and seeking the provision of contractual documents. 

The Fundraising Regulator has made clear that these notices and correspondence are issued without its consent and it is not party to them.  The FR advises organisations receiving these notices and correspondence that they are under no obligation to comply with them or to provide Compounding Action or Fundraising Bureau of Investigations with the information they ask for or to meet any costs they say they may incur.  

Legacies

The prorogation of Parliament has halted the progress of the increase in probate fees in the Draft Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018.  If the legislation is to proceed, it will need to be reintroduced in the next parliamentary session. 


Data protection

ICO advice to charities

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published this blog of top data protection tips for charities and third sector organisations.

ICO fine

The ICO has fined a Swansea double-glazing company £150,000 for making nuisance calls


Education

Schools

The Department for Education has published governance updates for:

·         Academy trusts; and

·         Local authority maintained schools.  This includes a list of links to its guidance and resources relevant to        governors of local authority maintained schools.


Social finance

Short n Sweet: 19 September 2019. Pioneers Post’s weekly round-up of social enterprise and social finance headlines.

Hidden power: How corporate foundations can create better capitalism. Pioneers Post reports on the first EVPA/Dafne ‘C Summit’ conference, which looked at the alignment of mission between corporates and their corporate foundations, and the move by some towards closer alignment.  

Special pot of £7.5 million to celebrate National Lottery 25th birthday. The funding will support activities to bring people and communities together across the UK. Up to £2 million will be made available in 2019 in small grants of up to £1,000. The remainder will be released to the sector through the Fund’s National Lottery Awards for All programme.

Dormant Bank Account Fund to be established in Northern Ireland.  £16m has been made available to the Northern Ireland fund from dormant bank and building society accounts to fund work to support resilience, capacity and sustainability in the sector. The National Lottery Community Fund will deliver the fund and will now further engage with the third sector to develop a Strategic Action Plan for the scheme, which will open this financial year.

The interim report of the Protecting Community Assets Inquiry has been published, warning that up to one fifth of community assets risk being lost to the private sector and, inter alia, recommends that a Community Asset Rescue Fund be created to temporarily buy out assets in difficulty. Press release from Social Investment Business.


International development/climate change

Boris Johnson has announced £1 billion of aid funding to develop and test new technology targeted at tackling climate change in developing countries. 

The UK Government is also co-creating a global partnership to help protect one billion people in developing countries from the impact of extreme weather events, and providing funding of £85m to the partnership.  


Public services commissioning 

The Institute for Government has published a report “Government outsourcing:  what has worked and what needs reform?”


Scotland

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has posted a video of its Notifiable Events webinar by Head of Engagement, Jude Turbyne.

OSCR is publicising a free briefing event on Brexit for third sector workers this Saturday in Edinburgh, led by the EU Citizens’ Rights project.


NCVO/Bates Wells Trustee Conference 2019

Join NCVO and Bates Wells on 4 November as we explore what good governance looks like for modern charities. We’ll give you practical tips and guidance to help you develop in your role as a trustee and support your organisation’s governance. To book your place click here.


All content on this page is correct as of September 25, 2019.