What are legal consents?
Sometimes trustees of the charities registered with us will need to get our consent to give them the power to do something, or to change their charity's Governing Document to make sure their charity continues to be able to operate effectively. In some cases the trustees can't make these changes themselves, usually because the proposed change is to the charity's aims (its 'objects') or because the Governing Document itself doesn't allow the proposed change to be made.
In these circumstances we'll need to become involved to make sure the charity can continue to operate within an effective legal, accounting and governance framework. Normally we can make an Order to give trustees the powers they need. In some situations where the Governing Document doesn't allow such a change we can do this through a 'Scheme' - a legal document which gives formal consent to amend, replace or amplify a charity's governing document.
When will the Charity Commission make schemes?
Usually, we will make schemes for one or more of the following reasons:
- to modernise or widen a charity's objects;
- to merge two or more charities;
- to replace a governing document that is inadequate or out of date with modern administrative methods; or
- to give the trustees new powers or authorise specific transactions (eg sale of land) which are in the best interests of the charity.
Trustees will be able to discuss their needs with us once these sections of the law come into force. They should only request a Scheme once it's agreed that this is the best approach. Formal applications for Schemes are normally made by trustees acting as a body. We'll decide on the terms of the Scheme in consultation with the trustees and, where appropriate, other people who may be affected by it.
Can I see what Schemes are being proposed?
Yes - you will be able to view all our proposed Schemes. In some instances we may invite public comments or representations. If we do invite public comment or representations, we will ask for these to be made within a period of time which we think is reasonable. If we do receive comments or representations we must take these into consideration and we may decide as a result that the proposal needs to be changed.
How do I make a comment or representation about a Scheme?
We will provide guidance on making a representation about a scheme which will set out what you need to do. If you want to make a complaint about a charity, you should read our guidance on how and when to report a concern to us.