Press release: Charity Commission responds to ICO issuing penalties to 11 charities

Following the Information Commissioner’s Office announcement today (5 April 2017) that it has issued monetary penalties to 11 charities for contraventions of the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Act, the Charity Commission confirms that it has open compliance cases into the following charities:

The charity regulator is assessing whether the trustees of each charity have acted in accordance with their duties under charity law. The Commission’s guidance to trustees on fundraising makes it clear that trustees need to understand and comply with the relevant data protection laws and requirements.

The Commission has met with all 11 charities who acted properly in reporting the ICO investigations and notice of financial penalties and are cooperating with the Commission.

David Holdsworth, Chief Operating Officer at the Charity Commission, said:

It is regrettable that further charities have been found in contravention of data protection requirements in this way. Charities must learn the lessons from these fines and breaches.

The generous British public expect charities to safeguard their data and raise funds responsibly, and in return they donate in their millions. Sadly in these cases charities have not kept their side of the bargain.
We are working with the charities concerned, the Information Commissioner and the Fundraising Regulator to ensure that any necessary remedial action is taken.

The charities were investigated by the ICO as part of a wider operation into data protection practices. There are no other outstanding investigations into charities as part of that operation. The Charity Commission continues to work with the ICO and the Fundraising Regulator to ensure the wider lessons from these cases are shared, and charities are meeting their responsibilities to protect donors’ personal data.


PR 30/17

Notes to editors

  1. Fundraising is subject to a self-regulatory system which sets and enforces clear standards of conduct for fundraising in the Code of Fundraising Practice. The Fundraising Regulator was set up in 2016 to regulate all types of fundraising by charities based in England and Wales and adjudicate concerns and complaints about fundraising against the Code of Fundraising Practice.
  2. The Charity Commission has a role in fundraising regulation where there is evidence that trustee actions or failings, in fulfilling their duties towards their charity, pose a serious risk to the charity, to charitable funds, or to public trust and confidence. This role, and trustee responsibilities for fundraising, are set out in the Commission’s guidance [Charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties (CC20)].(
  3. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
  4. Search for charities on our online register.

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