With plans to strengthen the powers of Scotland’s charity regulator to be considered by the Scottish Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee, views are being sought on the proposals.
Proposed changes in the Charities (Regulation and Administration) (Scotland) Bill would give the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) wider powers to investigate charities and charity trustees. Rules around who can be a charity trustee or senior office-holder in a charity would also be tightened.
The proposed changes to the law have been developed following suggestions from OSCR, with some of the changes intended to bring Scottish legislation in line with updated legislation in England and Wales.
To understand what impact the changes in the Bill might have, the Committee is inviting people to share their views either through a detailed consultation, or a short survey.
They hope to gain an insight into how the charity sector has changed since the Charities Act was passed in 2005 and get a better idea of how the updated laws might impact the Scottish public.
Natalie Don, Convener of the Social Justice and Social Security Committee said:
“Charities are a cornerstone of public life in Scotland, with millions of people across the country supporting, or benefitting from their work. It is important that the public can have faith in the often vital work that they do. We’re keen to understand the extent to which the Bill might strengthen that faith.
“We also want to understand what administrative impact the Bill might place on charities and their trustees. We understand that many people volunteer for charities and we want to know how these changes might impact on the way that they are able to perform these roles.
“There are more than 25,000 charities in Scotland and we would like anybody who has a role working or volunteering for one to share their views on the Bill, either by completing the detailed call for views, or the shorter survey.”
The Committee’s survey and consultations will close on Friday 3 February 2023. Following the closure of the consultation, the Committee will carry out several public evidence sessions before producing a report commenting on the principles of the Bill in the spring.