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Charity Commission withdraws guidance on fee-charging charities

The Charity Commission has announced it has withdrawn all of its guidance on public benefit and fee-charging charities after the Upper Tribunal ruled that key sections were "wrong in law" or "obscure".

The regulator said it had removed other references to fees elsewhere in its guidance. All the changes are marked on the commission’s website.

The tribunal ruling in October followed a legal challenge from the Independent Schools Council, which claimed the regulator’s public benefit guidance was onerous for trustees of fee-charging schools and was based on an incorrect interpretation of the law.

The tribunal said earlier this month it would quash the guidance, removing its legal status, if it was not removed.

The commission responded today by issuing a statement saying it had "withdrawn those aspects of its public benefit guidance that require rewriting to ensure that the guidance is consistent with the Upper Tribunal’s decision".

"Most of the commission’s public benefit guidance still stands and most charities are not directly affected by the sections withdrawn," the statement said.

The commission has established a working party to review its public benefit guidance, both generally and in relation to the tribunal’s decision.

It aims to produce draft guidance by the end of March, on which there will be a public consultation for three months before it is published in summer 2012.

Nobody at the ISC was available for comment.

This article was taken from www.thirdsector.co.uk http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/go/news/article/1110176