Charities Regulation Bill passed

Strengthening charity law and maintaining public trust.

The Scottish Parliament has voted unanimously to pass the Charities (Regulation and Administration) Bill.

The Bill will improve the accountability and transparency of charities and increase the powers of the independent Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“The charity sector plays a vital role in society and support for charities is high amongst the public who volunteer and donate to thousands of charities across the country. This legislation makes practical improvements and updates to existing charity regulation increasing transparency and to help ensure public trust is maintained.

“Scottish charities have a combined income of £14 billion each year so it is crucial that the way they are regulated remains fit for purpose. These reforms will support the effective regulation of charities, helping them to have the best possible environment to thrive.

“I am delighted that the Parliament has unanimously backed this legislation from the start.”


Provisions in The Charities (Regulation and Administration) (Scotland) Bill include:

  • updating the criteria for the automatic disqualification of charity trustees and extending them to individuals with specific senior management positions in charities
  • removal from the Scottish Charity Register of unresponsive charities that fail to submit statements of account
  • a requirement for all charities in the Scottish Charity Register to have and retain a connection to Scotland
  • a requirement on OSCR to publish the statements of account for all charities in the Scottish Charity Register
  • requirements on OSCR to include charity trustee names in the Scottish Charity Register, to keep an internal schedule of charity trustees’ details and to create a publicly searchable record of charity trustees removed by the courts

The Scottish Government consulted on proposals put forward by OSCR in 2019 and consulted again on a number of specific reforms in 2021 and found majority support for the changes.


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