Public policy round-up: August 2018

Civil society strategy

The biggest news for us this month was of course the publication of the civil society strategy.

In case you missed it, I wrote a blog summarising the key commitments made by government.

We also published a series of blogs looking in detail at some of the key themes and what the announcements mean for charities, such as:



The House of Commons international development committee has published its report into sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector.

The parliamentary women and equalities committee has also published its report on sexual harassment in the workplace.

Both reports are very critical of the fact that sexual harassment has been happening for a long time in the aid context and workplace respectively, and that it hasn’t been properly addressed.

The women and equalities committee has set out a five-point plan to tackle unlawful behaviours, while the IDC has made a number of recommendations, including:

  • creating an international register of aid workers
  • developing a series of best practice standards with regards to referencing
  • setting a requirement for aid organisations to achieve gender parity on boards, at senior management level, and throughout the workforce
  • establishing an independent aid ombudsman.


New rules on automatic disqualification

The new automatic disqualification rules for trustees and senior managers came into force on 1 August.

For a clear explanation of the rules and what you can do if you are affected, see Unlock’s guidance ‘Leading charities with conviction’.

Charity Commission guidance for charities connected with non-charities

The Commission has published a blog on the outcome of its consultation on draft guidance about charities connected with non-charitable organisations. The Commission says that it aims to publish final guidance later this year, but first of all will make changes to the draft in order to address some of the feedback from the consultation.

Brexit and EU funding

In statement by the chief secretary to the Treasury, government has announced that:

  • the guarantee given in 2016 to UK organisations in receipts of EU funds, where projects are agreed before the day the UK leaves the EU, has been extended until 2020
  • it is also guaranteeing funding in event of a no deal for UK organisations which bid directly to the European Commission, so that they can continue competing for, and securing, funding until the end of 2020.


Data protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is calling for views on a data sharing code of practice.

The ICO wants different views on the existing code and where changes in data protection legislation are needed. This includes whether the existing code strikes the right balance between data sharing and data protection, any areas of the code which are too detailed or are not detailed enough, and case studies/scenarios that can be included in the updated code of practice. The consultation closes on 10 September 2018.

NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2018: Good governance, great organisations

The NCVO/BWB Trustee conference takes place on 5 November 2018.

Join us as we explore the key principles of good governance and how to embed them across your organisation. Get practical tips and advice in expert-led breakout sessions and share your challenges and successes with your peers in networking opportunities throughout the day. Book your place by Friday 7 September for the early bird discount.




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Avatar photo Elizabeth was head of policy and public services at NCVO until 2020.

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