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Charities with no clear connection to Scotland to be removed from register

Not-for-profits and charities that operate in Scotland but do not own land will have their status stripped under a new proposal by the Scottish government

Charities that operate in Scotland but do not demonstrate a clear connection may have its status revoked under a new proposal put forward by the Scottish government.

A consultation by the Scottish government is underway to determine if charities on the Scottish Charity Register (OSCR) should remain, with concerns that organisations that do not “have and retain a connection to Scotland” are not being effectively regulated.

It is part of a greater proposal to build on and improve trust and transparency, as well as provide OSCR with stronger enforcement powers to ultimately increase efficiency.

The Communities Secretary for the Scottish National Party, Aileen Campbell, said that charities play a vital role and are key to achieving a “more prosperous country”.

“It is therefore important that we do all we can to maintain and increase public trust and confidence in the charity sector and making sure legislation supports that.”

The consultation proposal paper said that if a charity does not have a clear connection to Scotland, it can make it more difficult for OSCR to regulate as it becomes difficult to “ascertain what activities the charity is carrying out” and how they support the public.

It would mean charities that are established under the law of a different country, don’t occupy land or premises in Scotland and are not carrying out activities in any shop or similar premises in Scotland will no longer be entered onto the register.

An internal database may be established in the move, with the OSCR granted power to direct charities to manage conflicts of interest, take specific action in line with their governing documents and to appoint additional trustees. This would give the OSCR the same power given to charity regulators in the rest of the United Kingdom.

OSCR Chief Executive, David Robb, said of the consultation: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government have launched this consultation. The proposals reflect our experience of working with the Act and….seeks to improve the legislation.”

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