Update on charity law reform consultation: OSCR’s latest response

Earlier this week, the Scottish Government published its analysis of the responses to the charity law reform consultation. The consultation considered changes to the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, which is the primary piece of legislation covering charities in Scotland.

What is the consultation about?

The consultation was launched following OSCR’s proposals to the Scottish Ministers on how the 2005 Act could be improved. OSCR’s proposals for reform focus on ways to increase trust and confidence in the charity sector by:

  1. increasing transparency;
  2. providing OSCR with greater enforcement powers;
  3. increasing the efficiency; and
  4. streamlining operations.
What did the analysis say?

According to the Scottish Government’s analysis, there was a resounding level of agreement with the proposals from OSCR to amend charity law in Scotland from the responses submitted. Structured in 11 sections, the analysis gives insight into the views for and against the different proposals as well as a breakdown of where those views are coming from (e.g. 54% of responses came directly from the charity sector with the remaining 5% from “others” e.g. professionals, consultants and the likes, and 41% from individuals, presumably all with an interest in the sector).

What has the OSCR got to say?

OSCR responded to the Government’s publication earlier this week. Maureen Mallon, OSCR Chief Executive, thanked all individuals and organisations who responded to the Government’s consultation and emphasised that the case for changing the law is strong.

Although it does not look like there will be scope for reform of charity law within this parliamentary session, OSCR welcomed the announcement of a working group in relation to amendments to the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Removal from the Register and Dissolution) Regulations 2011 and the expectation is that we will see amendment to this legislation within the current session.

If you have any questions about charity law in Scotland or the proposed reforms, please feel free to contact MacRoberts’ Charities and Third Sector team. For further updates, please see our latest MacRoberts Loves Charities Newsletter.

This article was co-authored by Rachel Gillan.

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