How the Charity Commission reports on its regulatory work

The Charity Commission has produced a policy paper that seeks to explain its reasons for proactively naming some charities that are subject to its regulatory interventions, but not all.

The paper, entitled How the Charity Commission reports on its regulatory work, provides a rationale for its publicity strategy around live cases, the opening of statutory inquiries and regulatory cases, and its responses to media enquiries about ongoing cases and other issues.

In its new paper, the Commission explains that it will publish statements about its live regulatory cases if there is significant public or media interest in the case, or if the Commission wants to set the record straight on issues raised.

It will also publish a statement if an individual connected with the case has been convicted of a related offence and this has been made public, or where the regulator considers that the case raises issues that may pose risks to other charities or to donors.

In regard to statutory inquiries, the Commission states that it usually releases a public statement whenever it opens a statutory inquiry into a charity and links to this statement from the charity’s entry on the Register of Charities.

However, it adds that it will not release a statement if it considers this would not be in the public interest, or if the charity’s trustees are not aware that an inquiry is being opened.

It may also decide not to go public if doing so would prejudice legal proceedings, unduly impact commercial sensitivities or give rise to national security issues, or be acutely detrimental to a particular individual or group of individuals, for example a risk to someone’s personal safety.

Another reason for not publishing details of an inquiry is if doing so would cause severe prejudice to the charity and/or its beneficiaries.

On regulatory cases, which are not as serious as statutory inquiries, the Commission states that it will decide whether to issue a press release or formal statement on a case-by-case basis. Each decision depends on whether it is in the public interest to do so and whether it will help to increase public trust and confidence in charities.

The paper, which can be downloaded at, lists a number of factors that the Commission takes into account when considering whether to make public statements on such cases.