NCVO’s Governance Forum
This is a guest blog from Sue Pearlman, who is a Trusted Associate with NCVO Consultancy.In the blog, Sue talks about the Governance Forum was held at the Clothworkers' Company on 13 February. The Governance Forum allows experts in the field to get together to discuss governance issues and work together to improve governance in the voluntary and community sector.
The Charity Law Review led by Lord Hodgson. Ok – hand on heart – it had passed me by! Too much other “stuff” going on for me to take notice that something really important is happening in the field of charity law. So it was a real stroke of luck that I decided to accept an invitation to attend the NCVO Governance Forum last Monday.
The Governance Forum is supported by the Clothworkers’ Company and was held in its magnificent building in the heart of the City of London – quite a change from some of the surroundings in which I usually work. And coming out of Tower Hill station to be greeted by the sight of the Tower of London is quite salutary – and I have to say, inspiring.
But all that on one side, the morning was an eye opener. Christine Rigby from Bates Wells and Braithwaite took us through the potential for change in the review and what appears to be a real willingness to listen to those of us working in charities. Inevitably because of our mutual interest in governance, we focused on trustees – their responsibilities; their liabilities; the tricky subject of whether they should be paid; their independence; how transparent and accountable trustees really are and finally, phew (!) whether there is an appropriate balance of regulation.
Not surprisingly we didn’t manage to cover all these in depth in one morning, but a variety of opinions were heard and debated. What emerged for me was how passionate we still all are about governance and the need for governance to be taken seriously, but particularly for small organisations, for there to be a light touch to regulation, always bearing in mind the responsibilities.
What it did make me do was to go straight to my computer after the meeting and give my own response to the questions raised by the Cabinet Office – please do the same – we have a real opportunity to make our voices heard. And we all deal with the issues on a day to day basis, so who better?
Go to http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/content/charities-act-review and have your say!
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