Charity Commission publishes tougher guidance on conflicts of interest

The Charity Commission has published updated guidance for Trustees and Charities on Conflicts of Interest. It has a tougher tone because conflicts of interest were a factor in all its investigations completed in 2012/13. The new guidance emphasises the seriousness with which the Charity Commission takes this issue.

The guidance is available here and there are also examples to illustrate the points.

Kirsty Weakly has summarised the new guidance on the  CivilSociety.co.uk website:

The new guidance has a tougher tone than the previous one and includes an explanation that conflicts are a pre-appointment issue and an emphasis on the individuals’ responsibility to declare any conflicts of interest. It also includes a three-step approach to dealing with conflicts of interest.

Sam Younger, chief executive of the Commission said: “This guidance is about making sure trustees get this basic of good governance right. It is unacceptable that improperly handled conflicts of interest are so pervasive in our compliance work and all too often we are seeing serious weaknesses in charities’ knowledge and ability to handle the issue.”

He added that the “tougher tone” of this guidance was because: “We must not forget about the expectations that the public has of charities – trust and confidence in charities is high but improperly handled conflicts of interest can undermine this”

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