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OSCR response to Scottish Government’s report on charity law reform consultation

The Scottish Government has today published an analysis of the responses to the consultation on changes to charity law.

This follows their consultation earlier in the year on changes to the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (the 2005 Act), the main piece of charity law in Scotland. The changes set out in the consultation included proposals put forward by OSCR to enhance public trust and confidence in the charity sector by:

  • increasing transparency
  • providing OSCR with greater enforcement powers
  • streamlining operations and increasing efficiency.

By the end of the consultation period, 307 responses had been submitted. The responses are available to view here. The vast majority of responses agreed with the proposals to change charity law put forward by OSCR.

OSCR Chief Executive Maureen Mallon said,

‘‘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.

‘The proposals we submitted, which formed the basis of almost all of the consultation, reflected our experience of working with the 2005 Act over the past 13 years and sought to improve the legislation.

‘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.’

 

Background

  • The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is a non-ministerial office and part of the Scottish Administration following commencement of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.
  • We are the independent regulator and registrar for over 24,500 Scottish charities including community groups, religious charities, schools, universities, grant-giving charities and major care providers. Our work as Regulator ultimately supports public confidence in charities and their work.
  • We are independent of Scottish Government and report directly to the Scottish Parliament.
  • The next session of the Scottish Parliament will start after the next election.
  • The Scottish Government’s consultation on charity law lasted from 07 January 2019 to 01 April 2019.
  • OSCR’s response to the consultation can be viewed here.