Governance round-up: August 2017

Data protection law reform – are you ready?

The government’s announcement this month to introduce new data protection laws means charities will need to overhaul their privacy and data policies for the more stringent regulatory framework. This will cover all personal data you hold on anyone including service users and beneficiaries, members, donors and supporters, employees and volunteers. The law reform is the adoption into UK law of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit website has a dedicated page to data protection and GDPR for trustees and senior staff looking for an information hub including the steps you need to take now to prepare. We are also offering training and a data protection health check service.

New Charity Governance Code

A reminder that the new Charity Governance Code has been published as a collective contribution to strengthening charity governance from and by the sector. The Charity Commission has also endorsed the code and withdrawn its Hallmarks of Effective Charities guidance in favour of supporting the code. My colleague Dan’s blog post looks at what is new, how to use it and what NCVO is doing to support trustees in adopting the new code.

Winifred Tumim Prize – win £1K

Applications are now open for the Winifred Tumim Prize for best practice in charity governance.

If you’ve improved the effectiveness of your governance and delivered greater public benefit as a charity in line with the new governance code you could be in with a chance of winning.

Find out more and apply today

Changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice

Following its recent consultation, the Fundraising Regulator has announced changes to six sections of the voluntary Code of Fundraising Practice. The Code changes include new requirements regarding:

  • Charity trustees
  • The fundraising ask
  • Solicitation (disclosure) statements
  • Raising concerns about fundraising practice (whistleblowing)
  • Charity collection bags
  • Fundraising agreements and monitoring third party compliance

Charities have been given a grace period of between two and four months to implement some of these changes, where significant adjustment will be required in training and compliance monitoring processes.

From the Charity Commission

The commission has a new chief executive in Helen Stephenson who has published her first blog post, setting out her vision for the commission. The next recruitment exercise will be the government appointing a new chair – applications are open and close 22 September.

The Commission has published updated guidance for charity trustees on grant funding non-charities. It outlines what they need to consider if using such grants to further their charitable purposes.

The Commission’s new power to serve official warnings introduced earlier this year has been used for the first time. Issued against the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline, Third Sector covered the story including our comment that trustees need to understand their legal duties, particularly avoiding conflicts of interest and restrictions on personal benefit.

Third Sector magazine has also reported that the Charity Commission will shortly launch a consultation on its annual return and will not make changes to this year’s form, despite a previous statement that questions about overseas funding would be added this year.

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Avatar photo Myles currently leads on NCVO’s practical support offer and was previously an NCVO governance consultant. He has spent most of his career in the UK and Australian voluntary sectors. Myles is a former chief executive of both a local law centre and the Community Legal Centres Association of Western Australia. He is also an experienced trustee and chair of various frontline organisations and umbrella bodies in the legal aid, human rights and health sub-sectors.

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