People with convictions being trustees – Proposed changes by the Charity Commission

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The reason for this email is that we’ve published a document which briefly summarises the plans by the Charity Commission which would, in effect, further restrict the ability of people with unspent convictions from becoming a trustee of a charity. The proposed reforms are detailed in a consultation paper which was launched by the Government on the 4th December 2013 (see here) and which closes on the 12th February 2014.

As a charity that exists to support the efforts of people with convictions in moving on positively with their lives, and as an organisation which itself has sought to recruit trustees who themselves have convictions, we are concerned about the potential impact of these proposals, as well as concerns about how the current system operates. We recently met with Cabinet Office, which is responsible for putting these issues out to consultation. As a result of that meeting, we are planning to respond to the consultation. A particular focus is for us to ensure that the waiver process is an effective way of allowing charities to recruit people with unspent convictions as trustees.

We’re looking for your input!

In order to make the most impact, we wanted to raise awareness of this consultation amongst people with convictions who have experience of becoming a trustee, as well as organisations within the criminal justice sector (and other charities more broadly) that are keen to have people with convictions involved at a management level within their organisations.

In particular, we’re keen to learn of the experiences of individuals/organisations who have been through this process, particularly where the individuals’ unspent conviction involves dishonesty or deception, and therefore requires a waiver to be granted by the Charity Commission. We’ve put together a set of questions for both organisations and individuals that we’re keen for responses to.

In addition, we’re also keen to encourage other organisations and individuals to submit their own responses to the consultation, outlining your own views on the changes being proposed (as well expressing any views you have on the current process as it stands now).

For more information, download our document. In particular, we’d be grateful if you could send your responses to the questions set out at the bottom of page 4 of the document.

We’re keen to build up as much evidence as possible. Please send any answers you have to these questions to no later than Friday 7th February 2014.

Thank you for your support!

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