Being a charity in the UK is a regulated activity. The responsibility for regulation rests with the Charity Commission whose fitness for purpose has been called into question several times.
In 2014 the Public Accounts Committee raised serious questions on that very subject.
In 2015, I submitted a complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman about their handling of a particular regulatory issue. To say this was tortuous would be an understatement but I managed to work my way through the numerous filter stages to a full enquiry.
Many months later, and almost 2 years since the events that began the enquiries, the Ombudsman partly upheld my complaint and put matters back to the Commission to resolve. Their final answers on those points are due now.
In all honesty, some of the Ombudsman’s conclusions look ridiculous when you consider the facts and I am in little doubt that their final report is a fudge. But I will let you make your own minds up as, over coming days, I set out how regulation of the charity sector is inadequate, how the Charity Commission is little more than a support club for trustees and how the mechanics of much of this plays out.
My hope is that over coming months I can generate a wider debate that will lead to proper protection for the public by a competent regulator. In my opinion we have neither at the minute.