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Minister tio give evidence to Lords committee on charities


Rob Wilson MP, the Minister for Civil Society, will attend the final evidence session next week, Tuesday 6 December, of the Lords committee inquiry into the sustainability of the charitable sector.

He will be asked about the performance of the Charity Commission, the impact of the Lobbying Act on charities and the potential impact of Brexit on the charity sector.

The questions may include:

  • What is the role of charities in lobbying and advocacy?
  • How is the Government assessing the proportion of charitable income from EU sources?
  • Why is the Government focussing on the area of social investments?
  • What action is the Government taking to improve the quality of public sector commissioning?

The Minister for Civil Society will appear before the Committee on Tuesday 6 December, at 5.00pm.

The Committee will also hear from the Chair of the Charity Commission, who will be asked about the effectiveness of the Commission both as a regulator and enabler of charities, and its relationships with government, umbrella bodies and the wider voluntary sector.

The questions may include:

  • How do you engage with the charity sector? How do you seek feedback from the sector about the performance of the Charity Commission?
  • Should the Commission retain its dual role as regulator and enabler of the charity sector?
  • What is the case for alternative funding models for the Commission?
  • What is the role of charities in lobbying and advocacy?

The evidence session with William Shawcross, Chair of the Charity Commission, and Kenneth Dibble, Legal Director at the Charity Commission will be on Tuesday 6 December, at 4.00pm.

Ahead of that, on Monday 5 December at 3.15pm, there will be an evidence session with large charities, exploring the issues related to funding, including commissioning models and contracts, and the measuring and reporting of charities' outcomes and impact.

The Committee will hear from John Cowman, Director of Services at Royal Mencap Society, Andrew Seager, Head of Service Development at Citizens Advice and Jacob Tas, Chief Executive of Nacro.

Questions they are likely to face include:

  • What has been the impact of the change from grants to contracts
  • Does commissioned public service delivery threaten the independence of the charitable sector? Does it limit the ability of charities to innovate?
  • What are the consequences of increased expectations to demonstrate outcomes and impact?
  • Should public sector contracts be made suitable for charities of all sizes?

The evidence sessions will take place on Monday 5 December at 3.15pm and on Tuesday 6 December at 4.00pm and 5.00pm, in Committee Room 4A of the House of Lords.

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