A recent OSCR publication which will be of interest to charity trustees and advisers is ‘Who’s in Charge: control and independence in Scottish charities’. The guidance derives from OSCR’s experience over the last few years - they say that they have seen how uncertainty, ambiguity or disagreement about who is in charge of a charity has caused problems for individual charities. It can mean a charity losing sight of its charitable purpose, its charitable assets can be put at risk and the charity’s reputation could suffer, leading to a loss in public confidence. The guidance also recognises the changing landscape, with more charities working with bodies which are not charities and entering into contracts with local authorities.

The guidance covers scenarios where:-

  • a charity has links to central and local government;
  • where the same people are running separate bodies, one of which is a charity;
  • where there is ambiguity about who is in charge of a charity; and
  • where a charity is largely funded by another body.

The guidance contains useful case studies, a three page checklist for charity trustees and examples of good practice - it is worth a read.

Click here to view OSCR’s guidance.