Tuesday, 17 September 2013


I’m hot footing it from Glasgow to No 10 for a private meeting on the tender arrangements for the probation and rehabilitation reforms. I've been impressed with the care and skill that the Cabinet Office and MoJ have taken to listen to the issues that the third sector have raised and the support being given to ensure we can compete. But, as always, the proof of the probation pudding will be in the eating!

Then hot foot to the ACEVO Governance Commission report launch at CCLA in the City.

"Realising the Potential of Governance," puts forward a range of recommendations aimed at improving third sector governance

Key recommendations include the following:

•Charities should ensure that they have processes for appraisal of Trustees, individually and collectively, as well as for the chief executive.
•Trustees should discuss and consider the potential benefits of establishing a subcommittee or a designated Trustee with on-going delegated responsibility for governance. 
•Charities should be required to include in their Annual Report a section reporting on key governance processes and standards
•Funders and commissioners should explicitly consider the strength of an organisation’s governance as part of their assessment process.
•Charities should use an open, advertised process to publicise trustee vacancies and request applications
•Boards should consider implementing defined term limits for trustees, staggered to ensure an appropriate rate of turnover.
•the Treasury should review its funding of the Charity Commission in order to assess whether current and planned levels of investment are sufficient to enable it to carry out its investigative functions effectively.

ACEVO established the Commission after seeing a 40% increase in demand for its Governance Helpline and CEO in Crisis services. The Commission carried out five consultation meetings across different regions of the country, and released an online survey that was answered by more than 200 respondents.

The report focuses on three main areas: appraisal and accountability; clarity and understanding of roles and responsibilities; and board management issues, including recruitment, training and dispute resolution. It targets recommendations at charity boards themselves, as well as the Charity Commission and the government.

Derek Twine chaired the Governance commission (former CEO of the Scouts Association), argued at the launch that the report puts forward a range of practical suggestions aimed at supporting the improvement and development of charity governance. As Charities operate in a fast-changing environment and are under more pressure than ever to deliver improved outcomes with limited resources.  the recommendations made in this report could help charities to ensure that their governance is ready for future challenges.

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