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Consultees back proposed Scottish charity reforms

5 July 2019

The Scottish public is behind proposed reforms to charity law, the charities regulator OSCR has reported following a consultation exercise.

Proposals were announced early this year (click here for report), directed at increasing transparency, providing OSCR with greater enforcement powers and increasing its efficiency as regulator. They included an external register of charity trustees; publishing annual reports and accounts in full for all charities on the Scottish Charity Register; and revised criteria for automatic disqualification of trustees and senior managers.

By the end of the consultation period, 307 responses had been submitted, the "vast majority" of which agreed with the proposals, OSCR said.

Chief executive Maureen Mallon commented: "We would like to acknowledge everyone who responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation. Hundreds of individuals and organisations expressed their views, and we thank everyone who took the time to do so. The high volume of engagement and the overwhelming support for almost all of the proposals shows us that there is an appetite for change."

However she added: "We are disappointed that there is no indication that the consultation will result in a reform bill for charity law in this session of Parliament. However, we welcome the Scottish Government’s announcement of a working group on changes to the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Removal from the Register and Dissolution) Regulations 2011, with a view to bringing forward amendment regulations before the session ends.

"OSCR will continue to press for required changes and charity law reform. As a non-ministerial office, we will work closely with the Scottish Government and our stakeholders on this matter."

Responding to the outcome, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

"We are grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to this consultation. The high level of engagement indicated wide and broad support for change.

"We will fully consider all the points raised, including engaging with those who called for wider changes to the regulations. Collaborative work with the third sector and other key stakeholders will continue as we develop and refine the proposals."

Click here to access the responses.

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