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Caithness News Bulletins April 2006
|April 2006||March 2006|
|Office Of The Scottish Charity Regulator||Funding For Charities|
New Charity Regulator Takes Over
A transition to a new landscape for the country's 20,000 charities as the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, OSCR, takes on the responsibility for determining charitable status in Scotland.
The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, the main provisions of which come into effect from today govern how Scotland's charities are regulated and run, placing new responsibilities on charity trustees and establishing a new legal definition of charity.
All new charities must meet a new two-part Charity Test, showing that they have one or more charitable purposes, and provide public benefit. Charities must also seek consent from OSCR for proposed changes such as amendments to their charitable purposes or a proposed change of name.
The aim of the new legislation is to reinforce public confidence in the charity sector and create a more appropriate, modern environment for the operation of charities in Scotland.
OSCR's Chief Executive Jane Ryder said that charities and the public would welcome the new framework.
"For the first time ever in Scotland we have legislation specifically created for the charity sector,' she added. 'The sector is an important part of life in Scotland, with around half the adult population involved in voluntary activities.
"It is therefore essential that the public has confidence in the sound governance and regulation of charities, and that the charities themselves can flourish secure in the knowledge of their rights and responsibilities."
Deputy Communities Minister Johann Lamont said: "The Charities Act provides a new system of regulation and gives reassurance to the public who expect that the way in which our charities operate is trustworthy and transparent. The Executive and OSCR have been working with the voluntary sector in Scotland to prepare for this day. As the independent regulator, OSCR will now be taking up its powers to determine and grant charitable status and I look forward to seeing charities thrive in the new environment."
OSCR was established as an Executive Agency in December 2003 and in the past two years has worked with other regulators, Scottish charity groups, HM Revenue and Customs and the Scottish Executive to ensure a seamless transition to the new regime.
NEW CHARITY LAW - KEY POINTS