Tag Archives: charity commission

LibLink: Liz Barker: We have a crisis in our charity sector

Writing for Politics Home about her Lords question on the issues facing charities at the moment, Liz Barker said that Oxfam did not deserve the “monitoring” it was getting at the moment as it had taken action to deal with the unacceptable and inexcusable behaviour of a small number of its members of staff.

The crisis to which she refers, though, isn’t the one you think.

She highlighted failings in the Charity Commission, most notably its senior people being too close to Government and without enough knowledge of the sector:

One might have expected the Charity Commission to know that a charity’s most valuable asset is its reputation and to understand that, whilst Oxfam reported that it was dealing with the matter, the organisation might have been advised by lawyers to keep public statements to a minimum. The events for which Oxfam is now being berated coincided with a period when the Charity Commission’s funding was greatly reduced and its Chair, who knew nothing about charities or regulation, was wont to please the politicians who appointed him, by making sweeping  statements about charities which were full of criticism and short on evidence.

The Charity Commission board is appointed by government and with the imminent appointment of Baroness Stowell, who like her predecessor has no knowledge of charities, it appears to be a grace and favour appointment for people close to government.  This is a worrying development.

She highlighted another problem with the Charity Commission’s plans:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

William Wallace writes: Charities and public trust

 

Charities have been in the news this summer: first the ‘Olive Cook’ affair, raising the question of over-aggressive charitable fund-raising, which led to an active Daily Mail campaign, and then Kid’s Company, a charity which had run repeated deficits, depending on large cheques both from government and from major donors to bail it out, with trustees who seem to have been in awe of a charismatic chief executive.

Liberal Democrats watching the news to catch coverage of Tim Farron’s conference speech will have heard about the publication of a report on abuses of charitable fund-raising, which proposes a tougher regulatory regime.  I was one of the four members of that committee, at some cost to my summer.  Some had dismissed the Daily Mail campaign as another right-wing attack on progressive good causes.  We heard fund-raisers and major charity CEOs admitting that they had failed to monitor how the commercial agencies they employ handled telephone canvassing, that they had ignored the telephone preference scheme, and had overridden data protection in swapping contact details on donors.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Hustings: do all the candidates have to be invited? (UPDATED)

“Do we have to invite the extremist candidate?” “Can I veto the hustings by refusing to attend?” “Is the hustings meeting an election expense?” These are all common questions during general election campaigns, so here is your whistle-stop guide to what the various rules says.

Political impartiality

Some organisations wish to be impartial, some are forced to be impartial. So does that mean if you are organising a local hustings you need to invite every candidate standing in that constituency? For a regional or national hustings does it mean you have to invite every party who is putting up a candidate in …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged | 3 Comments
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