The Chairman of the Charity Commission says the Commission needs adequate funding and stronger legal powers if it is to meet Parliament’s expectations. William Shawcross’ comments come as the Commission issues its formal response to a critical Public Accounts Committee report.
In its response, the Commission says the regulator has already implemented many of the recommendations in the report. The Commission also notes that it has responded both to severe funding reductions and to Parliament’s expectation that the charity regulator perform a wide range of functions.
William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, says:
I fully accept that the Commission must strengthen its approach to tackling the most serious cases of abuse and mismanagement in charities. And indeed we have made significant improvements in this area already. But Parliament has granted us a broad regulatory remit. If we are to fulfil all the expectations placed on us while at the same time increasing our serious case work, we must be adequately funded. Our current funding position is simply unsustainable.
Mr Shawcross also stressed that the regulator needs stronger legal powers in order to prevent and tackle abuse and mismanagement:
We have long argued that our powers are inadequate. It is absurd, for example, that the Commission has no general power to disqualify individuals who have demonstrated that they are unsuitable to serve as charity trustees. Earlier this year, the Cabinet Office consulted on proposals to strengthen our powers, which we fully supported. I urge the Government to deliver on those proposals. I have written to the Prime Minister asking him to find time to include the extension of our powers in the legislative programme of the next Parliament.
The response is published today on GOV.UK.
Notes to Editors
1.The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.
2.Our mission is to be the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that:
- charities know what they have to do
- the public know what charities do
- charities are held to account
3.The full response (the Treasury Minute) is available on request from the press office and will be published from 11am Thursday 10 April.