The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has announced a new focus on protecting charity assets and reputations.
This week, they’ve announced changes to the way they monitor and review the country’s 24,000 charities and they’re also urging the remaining 20 per cent of the sector not already signed up for their online services to make sure that they do so as soon as possible!
To sign up, please visit the OSCR website.
OSCR Online is secure and simple – it gives your charity control and flexibility, and cuts costs. It’s already used by over 80% of charities. If yours isn’t one of them, now’s the time to sign up before our new Targeted Regulation takes effect!
What is Targeted Regulation?
OSCR are taking steps to focus their resources on areas that require their attention, based on their 10 years’ experience. The changes have been widely welcomed by the charity sector, in their biggest consultation to date.
- From 1 April, they will increase the information they make available on the Scottish Charity Register, by starting to publish annual reports and accounts for larger income charities and charities that are Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs)
- The annual return form completed by all charities will see changes in the type of information gathered, while reporting requirements for smaller charities will be kept to a minimum
- A new ‘notifiable events’ procedure will see charities required to alert OSCR to matters such as fraud, allegations of abuse, investigation by other agencies such as HMRC or the Police, or substantial donations from an unknown source where these occur, or to confirm that they have not
Why are these changes being made?
It’s about public confidence. OSCR’s Head of Engagement, Dr Judith Turbyne, points out that the new approach reflects their experience and will allow OSCR to focus their resources more effectively.
‘We’ve found over the past ten years that the great majority of charities operate as they should, and we believe that the time is right to focus our effort on those areas that deserve our attention,’ she says. ‘Our new approach has been welcomed by the sector and will provide more information and transparency for the public, greater efficiency and impact for us as Regulator, and keep reporting requirements straightforward for smaller charities’.
‘From 1 April, charities will notice a change in the questions we’re asking on the annual return form, as we start to gather different information that will better inform our work and, ultimately, support public confidence in the sector,’ she adds.
‘If charities can do one thing to get ready, I would urge them to sign up for our online services if they haven’t already done so.’
OSCR will publish new guidance and support material for charities, and work with local support organisations such as Third Sector Interface groups to help charities understand and adopt the changes.
Further information about Targeted Regulation and OSCR Online, please visit the OSCR website.