In the news last week...

Take a look at the biggest charity sector headlines from the last week

Government seeks to raise society lotteries limit to £100m a year.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has opened a consultation on society lotteries and is suggesting increasing the amount that lotteries can raise for charity from £10 million to £100 million. The government is also proposing to increase lottery prize limits from £400,000 to £500,000.

The consultation document comments that the move would be “likely to increase the amount of money societies can raise for good causes”.  It added that additional administration costs have been incurred by lotteries, which have decided to split or create new lotteries to avoid hitting the limit.

Campaigners have recently called on the government to increase the amount that society lotteries can raise for good causes. The individual draw limit was last increased in 2009.

The consultation closes on 7 September 2018. Details of how to respond can be found here.

Government to extend the scope of Social Value Act in the wake of public sector contract controversy.

In an attempt to rebuild trust in public sector commissioning following the collapse of Carillion, last week the government announced measures to make it easier for charities, co-operatives and social enterprises to bid for government contracts.

The measures are expected to include a strengthening of the provisions of the ‘Social Value Act’ to make providing social value an explicit requirement in central government commissioning.

In a speech at the think-tank Reform, Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington commented that ‘We will extend the requirements of the Social Value Act in central government to ensure all major procurements explicitly evaluate social value where appropriate, rather than just consider it. By doing so, we will ensure that contracts are awarded on the basis of more than just value for money, but a company’s values too, so that their actions in society are rightly recognised and rewarded’.

Charities SORP-making body expanded to promote high-quality financial reporting across UK and Ireland.

The four charity regulators of the UK and Ireland will for the first time work together to develop the charity accounting framework for use across all four charity law jurisdictions.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has approved the addition of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the Charities Regulatory Authority for the Republic of Ireland as joint members of the SORP-making body with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Statements of Recommended Practice (SORPs) are sector-driven recommendations on financial reporting, auditing practices and actuarial practices.

The enlarged SORP-making body will work towards a new charities SORP building on the foundation of the existing SORP to promote a common approach to high-quality reporting by charities whilst respecting local differences and legal requirements. The regulators will begin developing the new SORP from January 2019.

ACF publishes a report on the make-up of foundation trustee boards.

Last week the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) published a report compiled by the CASS Business School’s Centre for Charity Effectiveness into the make-up of foundation trustee boards. The full publication can be read here, but the reports main findings are as follows:

  • Male trustees outnumber women 2:1
  • Foundation boards are 99% white
  • Almost 60% of foundation trustees are over 65
  • Almost three-quarters of foundation trustees are recruited informally
  • Foundation boards are smaller, the terms are longer and they meet less frequently.