Regulator launches consultation on ‘The essential trustee’ – Press releases – GOV.UK

U.K. Guide to trustees’ duties is updated.

I am following up on a post by a LinkedIn group member about a new regulatory initiative by the U.K. Charity Commission on trustee standard of care.  You can click on the following link to access the article: www.gov.uk

The following are my initial comments about the post and the regulatory proposal.

Thank you Jane.  I clicked on the materials.  As they are rather long for a morning before work read, I’ll have to get back to them in detail.  Preliminarily it appears to pretty much follow what in the U.S. would be the business judgment rule.

The very real distinction is whether a regulatory agency will really enforce the requirements. And with charities there are so many different types and missions, and people of tremendously different backgrounds who serve on the boards.

I have served on two nonprofit boards and as an audit committee chair – on one of the boards all members were pretty sophisticated, on the other board perhaps less than half would fit that criteria. But on both boards they all supported the mission, did not have conflicts, and tried to make correct and diligent decisions within their abilities.

Should some of the board members on the second board not be allowed to serve as board members?  Tough call. Depending on the final outcome of the regulations, they could have a chilling or at least limiting effect on who can or wants to serve on a charity board. The U.K. initiative will be very interesting to watch.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco / California)

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