Proposed Changes to Charity Law Scotland
The Charities (Regulation and Administration) (Scotland) Bill
In November 2022, the above Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament with proposed changes to the existing legislation on charities.
The Bill does not set out to make revolutionary changes to the law; it aims more to underpin the work of OSCR (the “Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator”) in keeping charities well-managed, transparent and accountable. These are all key drivers of trust in the charity sector.
Two of the main proposed changes that you might be interested to hear about are:
1. Publication of statements of accounts
All charities in Scotland must prepare annual statements of account and have these independently examined or audited before sending them to OSCR. There is currently no legal requirement for statements of account to be published, although charities must supply a copy if asked. OSCR does however currently publish statements of account for charities with an annual income over £25,000 and for all SCIOs, regardless of income. Statements of account sent to OSCR will be easily accessible on the OSCR website. However, the Bill guarantees that information that is exempt on safety and security grounds will not be included.
2. Trustee names to be included in the Scottish Charity Register
At present the Register only needs to set out the principal office of the charity, or the name and address of one of its trustees. Going forward, a charity’s entry in the Register must include the names of each of its trustees. This will not only increase transparency and accountability, but will also bring Scottish charities in line with other parts of the UK.
If charities or trustees are concerned about the publication of names or other details, they can request that information is withheld. OSCR will consider such requests and, if refused, OSCR’s decision can be reviewed.
Note: This material is for information purposes only and does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us. You should not rely upon it in making any decisions or taking or refraining from taking any action. If you would like us to advise you on any of the matters covered in this material.
Please contact Lauren Booth: email Lauren@mitchells-roberton.co.uk
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