The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 is intended to support, and bring greater transparency to, the charitable sector in Scotland, whilst reassuring the public that their money is being used effectively and efficiently. The legislation is underpinned by the principle that all charities that enjoy the benefits of charitable status should be subject to the same degree of scrutiny where possible and appropriate. However, this is balanced by the principle that the regulation of charities should be proportionate and not unduly restrictive.
The legislative framework is reviewed regularly as part of the Scottish Government’s formal and informal engagement with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and with the charity sector in Scotland. There has been no other informal or formal representation to Scottish Ministers from the charity sector in Scotland in recent years seeking to reduce the burden of charity regulation on small charities.
On 1 April 2016 OSCR introduced a new targeted approach to regulating Scotland’s charities, after extensive consultation with the sector, which reduces the annual reporting information required by OSCR from small charities. This new approach has been welcomed by the charity sector in Scotland.
We will continue to work with OSCR and charity stakeholders to ensure that the legislative framework for charities in Scotland remains fair, robust and fit for purpose.