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Last Updated: Friday, 30 May, 2003, 07:50 GMT 08:50 UK
MSP seeks charity changes
Charity box
The executive is promising new regulation
A former minister has revealed plans for a change in Scotland's charity legislation.

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said the Scottish Executive's plans to introduce a new regulator, in the wake of controversy surrounding one charity's accounts, do not go far enough and she will introduce a member's bill.

Communities Minister Margaret Curran announced earlier this week that she would set up the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) after financial irregularities came to light in Breast Cancer Research Scotland.

However, Ms Baillie expressed disappointment that the minister, who promised to introduce changes at the earliest opportunity, had not heeded calls for a more "robust legislative framework".

We need to update the definition of what constitutes a charity and we need to put in place a statutory body independent of government
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, she said: "The disappointing thing for many people is that given the urgency of the situation there was no timescale given and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator which they intend to set up... doesn't have full statutory powers.

"Unfortunately I believe it will remain reactive rather than proactive.

"It's in everybody's interest to avoid a repeat of Breast Cancer Research Scotland."

Ms Baillie said the public must be confident that the money they give to charity is being used effectively and legislation must ensure that safeguards are in place.

The Labour MSP for Dumbarton said: "We need to update the definition of what constitutes a charity and we need to put in place a statutory body independent of government that can regulate and monitor charities so that the public can have confidence in charitable giving."

Ms Baillie defended her record during her spell as social justice minister and said she was involved in setting up the McFadden Commission, which called for better regulation and support for charities.

The former minister asserted that she would have implemented its proposals had she still been in office and said that its recommendations constitute most of her member's bill.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Jackie Baillie, Labour MSP
"It's in everybody's interest to avoid a repeat of Breast Cancer Research Scotland"



SEE ALSO:
Charity regulation 'not enough'
29 May 03  |  Scotland
Pledge on charities watchdog
28 May 03  |  Scotland
Charities watchdog call
27 May 03  |  Scotland
Cancer charity accounts frozen
23 May 03  |  Scotland
Charities regulator calls renewed
23 May 03  |  Scotland
Scots dig deep for charity
19 May 03  |  Scotland


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