CFDG Response to Cabinet Office Strategy Unit Report

25th September 2002

In response to the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit Report, Published today, CFDG Chief Executive, Shirley Scott said:

"We are delighted that the report has finally been published and that the Cabinet Office have taken note of many of our concerns. Proposals for the modernising of charity law have been a long time coming and are vital if charities are to play an active part in society. We are pleased that the Strategy Unit has made some far reaching and radical proposals and hope that the end result is a more effective, better resourced and better regulated charity and voluntary sector.

There is a long way to go but we will push for the legislation relating to charities and trading and support the proposal for the new Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Our members will certainly be interested in commenting on the detail of these proposals.

We are delighted that the Government has recognised the problems of regulation and red tape and we welcome the Prime Ministers' statement that "Excessive red tape is preventing the sector from fulfilling its potential". We will be looking for the balance between gaining public confidence and the need to reduce red tape. Appropriate regulation (including self regulation) helps maintain public confidence in charities.

Our interest will be focussed on the financial management aspects of the report and we look forward to working with the Charity Commission on the next SORP with regards improved methods for apportioning costs and expenditure. We welcome the need for some clarification of the ethical investment strategies which trustees are permitted to follow under charity law.

There are a number of other key recommendations which I know our members will be very keen to respond to including the ones on audit and registration thresholds.

We welcome the proposals to reform the Charity Commission. Our response to the original Strategy Unit consultation highlighted some concerns about the current structure of the Charity Commission. Indeed, the report backs many of our recommendations from our response to the original Strategy Unit consultation. The report also responds to many of our points in our 'Agenda for the future', published in June.

On the other recommendations CFDG will be consulting fully with our members to gain their full views. Our Public Affairs Committee and Policy Development Working Group will be meeting on 9th October to help develop our response. In addition, CFDG will be hosting members meetings in London and regionally to discuss the report and our response."


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