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David Robb: Protecting the Charity Brand: The Importance of Good Governance in Turbulent Times (6.3.13)


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David Robb is CEO of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). He is the organisations second CEO, having taken over from Jane Ryder in October 2011. In this presentation David talks about his role at the organisation and his vision for the future.

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David Robb: Protecting the Charity Brand: The Importance of Good Governance in Turbulent Times (6.3.13)

  1. 1. ICAS Edinburgh 6 March 2013Protecting the charitybrand: the importance ofgood governance inturbulent times David Robb, Chief Executive, Scottish Charity Regulator
  2. 2. Outline• Charity regulation – what’s it for?• The first seven years and the next phase of development• Charity trustees in turbulent times – the importance of good governance• How can you help?
  3. 3. Charity regulation – what’s it for?• OSCR established in wake of ‘scandals’• Register unreliable – many inactive charities• Goal: public assurance
  4. 4. The Regulator seven years on• A solid legacy to build on  Accurate Register  Regulatory processes established & refined  New law interpreted and applied - The charity test: Protecting Charitable Status, Feb 2012  Good relationships built with the sector and their advisors  June 2012: Started online transactions• Time to take stock, build on our successes by refocusing and reprioritising
  5. 5. Charity Regulator’s objectives• We must ensure that: – People understand what charities are and what they do, and can find out which organisations are charities – Those who run charities understand their responsibilities, and carry them out with integrity – We act decisively when anyone puts the reputation of charities at risk
  6. 6. The next phase – what to expect• Continuing review of charities’ compliance• Facilitating compliance: supporting Trustees and Chairs with guidance and engagement on all aspects of good governance• Review of compliance monitoring priorities and processes – consultation soon• Decisive enforcement action• Evolving regulatory framework (SCIOs, new restricted fund regulations)• Evolving policy context (Hodgson,PASC)
  7. 7. Enduring values• Fair• Proportionate• Professional• Efficient and effective• Open and accountable
  8. 8. Changing emphasis• Acting earlier to prevent problems arising• Being more targeted: risk-led and proportionate• Acting rather than reacting – taking the initiative• Using our influence: drawing on our knowledge and expertise to address issues of public concern
  9. 9. Our vision: Charities you can trustand that provide public benefit
  10. 10. The G - word “the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness,supervision and accountability of an organisation”
  11. 11. What duties do charity trustees have?Four general duties: 1. to act in the interests of the charity and put the interests of the charity before any other 2. to ensure that the charity operates in a manner consistent with its purposes 3. to act with due care and diligence 4. to ensure that the charity complies with the Act and with other relevant legislation
  12. 12. Know your Know your Agreements Strategic charity partners and contracts approach and overviewTrustee inductionCompliance Due diligencewith the law Good GovernanceCommercial “Acting in the interests of the charity” Developing activities relationshipsRisk & control Decisionsprocedures effectively implemented Managing Effective change Adequate structures resources
  13. 13. Good governance – focus points (1)The charity’s governing document: – Know what it is! – Understand the provisions and how they work – Think about whether it really works for the charity or whether it could be improvedThe interests of charity trustees: – Maintain a register of interests – Manage conflicts of interest and agree a code of conduct
  14. 14. Good governance – focus points (2)Care and diligence: – Understand the financial position of the charity – Ensure appropriate policies, contracts and agreements are in place which are regularly reviewed – Take professional advice if requiredCollective responsibility: – Trustee misconduct procedures in place – Ensure the governing document has power to remove trustees where there is serious or persistent breach of charity law
  15. 15. Challenges for charities (1)“The charitable sector has been hit very hard by thisrecession. The combined forces of rising demand,rising costs, falling income and restricted creditcreate a highly challenging set of circumstances.Although more people require the sector’s services,falling asset prices, smaller private sector salariesand lower commercial profits have all reduced itsincome.” ACEVO
  16. 16. Challenges for charities (2)• Funding pressures• Service pressures• Increased competition• Policy changes• Constitutional changes
  17. 17. Weathering the storm• Be strategic• Challenge, and support your executives• Plan for ongoing difficulties, not just a short term dip in income• Be prudent about your reserves• Be creative, and consider collaboration• Manage risks responsibly, don’t be risk averse• Keep on providing public benefit
  18. 18. Chairs & CEOs matter “The quality of relationship between the chair and CEO reflects the quality ofgovernance within an organisation. It is a fundamental building block on which thegovernance structures and practices rest. The relationship is particularly crucial… because the chair and CEO… occupy important leadership roles.” ACEVO
  19. 19. How you can help the Regulator• Understand your responsibilities – use our online guidance if unsure• Give us feedback on our performance• Engage in our consultations• Go online and encourage others to do so• Alert us to any concerns• Help us protect the charity brandCharities you can trust and that provide public benefit.
  20. 20. ICAS Edinburgh 6 March 2013Thank you 01382 346868 @ScotCharityReg