Press release: Charity Commission Chairman welcomes ‘vote of confidence’ from National Audit Office

The Charity Commission has welcomed a report highlighting the significant early progress it has made in becoming a more rigorous, proactive and risk-based regulator.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report follows up on a previous review in December 2013, and acknowledges that the regulator has taken steps to address all of the recommendations made by the NAO and Public Accounts Committee.

The report recognises the commission has developed a credible business model and an ambitious change programme, is improving its use of data, and is making more frequent and effective use of its powers. The report also notes the commission’s achievement in securing additional investment funding from the Treasury, allowing the regulator to focus greater resources on higher risk case work (see notes to editors for further detail).

William Shawcross, Chairman of the Commission, said:

This report is testament to the unprecedented progress we have made over the past 18 months. I am delighted that the NAO has recognised our ability and determination to transform the commission into the robust, effective regulator the public and charities expect.

Like the additional funding we are receiving from Treasury, and the proposed new powers, this report is a vote of confidence in the commission and our staff.

The NAO’s findings will spur us on to maintain the momentum of change. We have much hard work ahead of us and we are not complacent about the effort and the skills that are still needed to achieve our goals.

The commission specifically acknowledges that it has more work to do to address capacity issues in key areas, such as registration and trustee assurances.

To receive a copy of the embargoed report, please contact the National Audit Office press office.



Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.

  2. Our mission is to be the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that:
    • charities know what they have to do
    • the public know what charities do
    • charities are held to account
  3. New business model: our new business model concentrates resources on high-risk case work and automates lower risk work; we have already begun putting this model into practice, including by directing resources from other functions to higher risk monitoring, investigations and enforcement work.

  4. Making more frequent and effective use of our powers: we opened 64 statutory inquiries in 2013-14, compared to 15 during the previous financial year and used our powers on over 700 occasions, compared to 216 occasions in 2012-13.

  5. Improving our use of data: the NAO has acknowledged the work we are doing to make wider and more effective use of data to assess risks facing charities and improve our ability to detect fraud, including by joining the fraud prevention service Cifas.

  6. Securing additional funding from the Treasury: the Treasury has granted the commission an additional £8m transitional funding, which we will invest in technology and frontline operations, allowing us to redeploy resources to deal with higher risk work.

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