There has been an open call for public submissions to the Government Administration Select Committee which is considering The Crown Entities Reform Bill – a call made prior to the dissolution of parliament on 20 October 2011. If enancted into law, it will disestablish the Charities Commission and transfer its function to the Department of Internal Affairs. Under the proposed new legislation, the registration and deregistration of charities will be carried out by a new independent decision-making board of three people.
The Society (SPCS), a registered charity (CC20268), is currently finalising a detailed report to be submitted to the select committee and Minister responsible for the Commission, focusing on the practices and activities of the Monitoring and Investigation Team of the Charities Commission.
The recent overturning by the High Court (via a judicial review) of the decision of the Charities Commission to deregister the charity Liberty Trust – which has charitable purposes based on biblical principles of debt-relief – has in part prompted some politicians to seriously question the functions of the Commission and the independence of the decision-making processes that its Monitoring and investigations team engage in. A number of controversial deregeistration decisions and public disquiet have prompted politicians to call for changes.
The SPCS has strongly endorsed the charitable activities of Liberty Trust (Charity Reg. No. CC11287), which won an appeal by way of High Court judicial review of the Commission’s deregistration decision. The Charities Commission was set up under the Charities Act 2005 and it registered Liberty Trust as a charity on 8 October 2007.
Liberty Trust – Resurrected as charity by High Court ruling
Liberty Trust website