by Prof Gareth G Morgan
This brief opening presentation highlighted some of the significant themes in voluntary sector research around the issues of governance and regulation, especially in terms of changes which have impacted on the UK voluntary sector in the last decade (2000 – 2010). It served as an introduction to the day and to the papers that follow.
Mention was made of the following themes:
- the new systems of charity law now in place with in all three UK jurisdictions (England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) especially the new emphasis on public benefit
- the significance of the charity accounting framework as a regulatory driving force and especially its enforcement in Scotland
- reforms to tax law affecting charities
- community amateur sports clubs as a quasi-charitable form of voluntary organisation
- the emergence of social enterprise and the development of a specific legal form for non-charitable social enterprises
- the increased emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of charity trustees and of board members in other third sector organisations
- the governance failures which lie at the heart of most Charity Commission investigations.
It concluded that governance and regulatory issues are fundamental to the field of voluntary sector research.