Charities should be given more control and freedom over how they are run, Lord Hodgson said in his report on the Charities Act 2006, which will be laid before Parliament today.
Last year, the government appointed Lord Hodgson to conduct a wide-ranging review of the Charities Act 2006 to investigate whether it is fit for purpose. He was asked to consider if better regulation is needed and whether the existing rules are enabling charities to operate easily. The government will carefully consider his recommendations.
As part of the recommendations, Lord Hodgson is calling for greater freedom for charities to decide how they are run, but balanced with greater transparency. His report intends to:
- hand back power and control to trustees by reducing red tape
- help charities demonstrate their success by making information requirements simpler and more transparent
- revolutionise investment rules to open up the social investment market for charities
In return, charities would be asked to be more transparent and accountable to the public, by focusing information requirements on what the public need and want, and agreeing stronger rules on the regulation of fundraising.
Lord Hodgson said:
I believe that the review will give greater freedom to charities and their trustees, encourage the development of social investment, and lead to a greater degree of public participation in this vibrant aspect of our society.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:
We want to help charities play an even more influential role in society. So we want to make sure that their legal and regulatory framework is fit for purpose. We welcome Lord Hodgson’s report and all his recommendations will be carefully considered.
Notes to editors
1. The full report is available here.
2. Published alongside it is Ipsos Mori’s research into public perceptions of charity, commissioned by the Review.
3. The Charities Act 2006 contains a provision (section 73) requiring that an independent person be appointed to review the operation of the Act. Lord Hodgson’s appointment fulfilled that obligation.