Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

Charities Act timetable

The provisional timetable for the implemetation of the Charities Act 2006 (click here for detailed summary) has been published by the Office of the Third Sector. It aims is to give charities, and others that will be affected by the Act, time to properly prepare for changes that will affect them. The legislation received Royal Assent on 8th November 2006. Parts of the Act will come into force early in 2007, and subsequent provisions will roll out over the following two to three years. Implementation will be led by the Office of the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office, working closely with the Charity Commission and representatives from the sector itself. In the first half of 2007, the sector will see:
• A plain English guide to the Charities Act;
• A series of regional events to explain the Act to charities in England and Wales;
• Initial reductions in the regulatory burden on charities, especially smaller charities;
• A modernised framework for the Charity Commission;
• Consultations with the sector begin to ensure clear guidance is available on the public benefit test.
Other key measures in the Act will follow.
The full raft of deregulatory provisions will be brought into effect as quickly as possible, while other measures will require consultation and secondary legislation or guidance before they can be commenced. For example, the new definition of charity, and the public benefit test, will not be brought into force until there is an accessible appeal right through the Charity Tribunal, and the Charity Commission has developed and consulted on its guidance on the operation of the public benefit requirement.