Press release: Views sought on use of the commission’s warning power

The Charity Commission (‘the commission’), the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today launched a 12 week public consultation on its proposed approach to exercising the new power to issue an official warning to charities when it considers that there has been a breach of trust or duty, or other misconduct or mismanagement in the charity. This power will supplement the commission’s existing powers for dealing with wrongdoing in charities.

The new power, which mirrors powers many other regulators have, was included in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 and is expected to come into effect in October. The power will support the commission in its regulatory work of upholding public trust and confidence in charities by dealing proportionately and effectively with wrongdoing which erodes that trust.

In a consultation paper published today, the commission sets out its proposed approach and the factors it will take into account before issuing an official warning, together with its approach to giving notice and publishing official warnings.

The commission welcomes comments from charities, their advisers, other regulators (particularly those that exercise similar powers) and anyone else with an interest in the charity sector on its proposed approach to using these new powers. In particular it invites comments on:

  • the commission’s overall approach
  • how it will use this new power
  • how it will give notice and consider representations
  • how it will publish official warnings

Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the commission, said:

The power to issue an official warning is an important new power for the commission to tackle misconduct and mismanagement proportionately and effectively.

We are keen to ensure that the sector understands our approach and the important safeguards for charities. We hope that charities, professional advisers and other interested parties will respond to our consultation to further inform that approach.

The full consultation questions and online form to complete the consultation are published on GOV.UK. The consultation closes on 23 September 2016 at 5:00pm.


PR 37/16

Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
  2. Search for charities on our online register.
  3. Details of how the commission reports on its regulatory work can be found on GOV.UK.
  4. The implementation plan for the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 was published by the Cabinet Office. This sets out the timetable and commencement dates for each provision. The commission published an accompanying blog.

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