Charity Finance Directors Welcome PAC Report

3rd July 2002

The Charity Finance Directors' Group have today welcomed the publication of "Giving Confidently: The Role of the Charity Commission in Regulating Charities" by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons.

The new report urges the Charity Commission to act 'quicker' and 'more vigorously' to ensure that charities file their annual accounts on time. It calls on the Commission to make the most of the statutory powers it has.

Amongst other things, the report states that:
· 38% of charities do not submit their annual accounts on time or at all, or provide adequate information on performance;
· The Charity Commission should plan investigations more systematically, complete investigations more quickly and make greater use of statutory powers to expedite problem cases;
· One quarter of complaints against the Commission are upheld and that the Commission should give greater recognition to the lessons from feedback from these complaints;
· The Commission should examine the scope for publishing comparative information on the performance of charities of similar type and size;
· The Commission should make some sample checks on prospective new trustees; and
· The Commission should reduce the time it takes to complete inquiries.

CFDG Director, Shirley Scott welcomed the report and stated "If we are to raise the quality of the financial management of charities there are responsibilities for Charities and for the Charity Commission. After previous reports found 'serious shortcomings' in the Commission's performance in this area, this much welcome report has highlighted the excellent progress the Charity Commission has made. By working with them we hope to be able to further raise public confidence in the financial management of charities."


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