08 April 2020 - Article
Under changes due to come into effect later this year, the Charity Commission will no longer carry out what it has called ‘regulatory’ investigations.
The Charity Commission currently carries out two types of investigation. Firstly, statutory inquiries (for which the Commission uses its statutory powers as set out in the Charities Acts) are opened where the Commission has serious concern about a charity and considers there is significant risk involved. Regulatory investigations have been opened where there has been some concern about a charity but the Commission has considered the risk to be more limited. Regulatory investigations are not provided for in the legislation and the announcement will be welcomed by those who have questioned the Commission’s power to carry out such investigations.
Allegations of wrong-doing by trustees or any complaints about a charity will instead be dealt with by regional operational teams as part of their ordinary case work. If necessary – where there is deemed to be serious risk – the Commission will still open a statutory inquiry.
This move comes as part of a package of measures introduced by the Charity Commission in response to the reduction in its funding by a third over the next four years. Other measures include: a reduction in tailored one-to-one advice to charities; fewer resources spent ‘championing the sector’; and a reduction in the research it currently carries out.