Records of disqualification and removal

Part of Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 7:00 pm on 5 January 2016.

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Photo of Rob Wilson Rob Wilson The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 7:00, 5 January 2016

I welcome you to the Committee, Mr Hamilton. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship.

Clause 12 extends the duty of the Charity Commission to keep a publicly accessible register of people who have been removed from office by either the commission or the High Court. The register includes the name of the removed trustee, their address at the time of removal, the date when the order was made and the name of the charity concerned. It contains details of individuals who are disqualified only because they have been removed by the commission or the court; it does not contain details of those disqualified for reasons such as an unspent criminal conviction or bankruptcy.

The register can be searched by name on www.gov.uk. It is an offence to act as a trustee while disqualified, so all charities should have a vetting procedure in place to check that new and existing trustees are eligible to act, and checking the Charity Commission’s register of removed trustees is a good way to do that. It is also good practice for trustee boards to ask prospective trustees to confirm in writing that they are not disqualified. The Charity Commission provides a model declaration form that charities can download from the aforementioned website.

Under clause 12, the register of removed trustees would be extended to include details of persons who are subject to disqualification orders made under clause 11 and those disqualified trustees removed from office by the commission under clause 5.