November 2014

Targeted Regulation of Scottish Charities

The Charity Law committee responded to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) consultation on proposed changes to the questions being asked in their annual return which all charities are obliged to complete. 

Charities will have to answer a number of sections depending on their income level, with the lowest income threshold being set at £25,000. The Society is concerned that these new questions and how they are structured within the annual return will place an undue burden on charities, particularly smaller ones.  It is of the view that the proposed threshold of £25,000 is too low if the number of questions being proposed in the annual return is to remain as is, and that the threshold should broadly reflect the level of income a typical charity would be likely to have with at least one full time paid member of staff.  

The proposals also consider the introduction of a Serious Incident Reporting obligation on charities, meaning that charities would be obliged to report every instance of fraud or theft, amongst other matters, to the regulator, no matter how small.  The Society would like to see further consideration given to what constitutes a serious incident and whether or not reporting such incidents to OSCR is always appropriate. 

The full consultation response is on our website