In 2019 OSCR began a process of reviewing the powers that they have and consulting with charities and other stakeholders on their views. As OSCR was established in 2003, it was a good time to look at what administrative efficiencies the regulator has as well as looking at what powers required reviewing and strengthening in order to ensure public trust in charities was maintained. Very broadly, the areas that OSCR was looking at were things that would increase transparency and make OSCR’s powers clearer.
Since then, we’ve had a government focused on Brexit and then hit by COVID-19 and lockdowns, and this is why OSCR is now revisiting this consultation process after a bit of delay. Having taken on board input from the first stage of the consultation, they have refined their request for feedback and we are running an event to look in detail at some of the questions they’re asking.
YOUR FEEDBACK / VIEWS MATTER
You may be wondering how something like this affects your charity and why you might want to take the time come along to our discussion event – especially if you’re from a small charity that has had very little contact with OSCR apart from submitting your annual returns. But no matter the size, some of the proposals will affect all charities – for example, a register of all trustees for charities in Scotland or giving OSCR the power to instruct trustees that they must or must not take some action. As well as this, it is important for the voices of smaller charities to be heard so that it’s not only lawyers or large charities influencing policy. Our aim with this event is to bring together people from smaller, local charities to discuss the proposals, give OSCR a report on the feedback that we gather, and increase the confidence of organisations to submit their own individual feedback as well if they would like to.
There are some parts of this consultation that we think are more likely to affect the organisations attending, so we are going to focus on the first three proposals. It will be helpful if you’re able to read through some of the questions they’re asking ahead of time and come with queries or thoughts.
Christina Hinds, Development Worker, EVOC