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Charity Commission calls on charities to report incidents 05/06/09
 

By Claire Racine

The Charity Commission is calling on charities to be more proactive in reporting serious incidents.

The Commission recently updated its guidance on how charities could best comply with the law in this area.

“Serious incident reporting is something that trustees must consider carefully as part of their responsibility to safeguard and manage the risks to their charity’s assets, work, beneficiaries and reputation,” said Andrew Hind, chief executive at the Charity Commission.

“Serious incidents do arise on occasion, and they have the potential to harm a charity’s reputation or damage its ability to fundraise.”

Although the updated guidance is mainly aimed at trustees, it will also be useful to legal and accountancy professionals working with charities, who often are the first to become aware of serious incidents.

The Commission defines a serious incident as one that has resulted or could result in a significant loss of funds or a significant risk to the charity’s property, work, beneficiaries or reputation.

The “zero tolerance” issues that cause serious concern include fraud, sham charities and links to terrorism.

Trustees should always report serious incidents to the Commission as soon as they become aware of them, even if they have already contacted another agency, such as the police.

The Commission’s response depends on the circumstances of the incident and the charity’s ability to resolve it independently.

“It will not be necessary for the Charity Commission to intervene in every instance, but we will get involved where it is necessary to protect the charity and its beneficiaries,” Hind said.

For further information, visit www.charitycommission.gov.uk

 

 
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