In the course of its work, the Charity Commission takes a wide range of decisions. Those decisions range from whether or not to register an organisation as a charity, through decisions made in the course of providing advice, guidance and support to charitable organisations in England and Wales, to decisions about how we deal with cases of suspected abuse or maladministration.
When we take decisions we take a lot of trouble to make sure that we get them right and that any decision is proportionate, reflects the legal framework and is in the interests of the particular organisation involved. We do recognise, however, that from time to time trustees or persons affected by the decision may consider that we are not correct and this is where our procedures to review decisions come in. The aim of a Decision Review is to ensure that the Commission's decision is the right one, in the sense that it is a proper exercise of our powers and consistent with our statutory objectives. We also check that the reasons for our decisions have been adequately expressed.
You can read further guidance about which decisions we are prepared to review and about the Decision Review procedure in our guidance 'Dissatisfied with one of the Commission's Decisions: How can we help you'. To get an idea of the types of review we undertake you can view our published decisions.
Where we agree to conduct a Decision Review, the process will usually be conducted within a maximum of 3 months. The process is managed by the Litigation and Review Team (LART) within the Commission’s Legal Services. The decision you receive following the decision review process is the Commission's final decision.
Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with a decision we have made, you may be able to apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Charity). Details about how to contact the Tribunal can be found at the bottom of this page. You do not have to go through our decision review process before making an application to the Tribunal.
If you would like to request a review of our response to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act please read our guidance ‘Dissatisfied with the Commission’s decision regarding a Freedom of Information Act or Subject Access Request: How can we help you?’ to see if that procedure is appropriate for you.
How to ask us to review a decision
If after reading our guidance, you would like to ask for a Decision Review, you may complete this form online.
The First-tier Tribunal (Charity)
If you are dissatisfied with the Commission's decision you may be able to appeal or make an application for review to the Tribunal. Schedule 6 of the Charities Act 2011 sets out for each type of decision who is eligible to request an appeal or apply for a review.
The First-tier Tribunal (Charity) is an independent legal body which has the power to look again at some of the decisions made by the Commission and to quash, change or add to them. In some cases the Tribunal may direct us to take further action or rectify our decision.
The Tribunal can be contacted as follows:
The First-tier Tribunal (Charity) Manager
Tribunals Operational Support Centre
PO Box 9300
Telephone: 0300 123 1711
Fax: 0116 249 4253
Email the First-tier Tribunal
Complaining about a decision we have made about your freedom of information or subject access request
The Charity Commission receives a significant number of requests for information each year. Requests for information broadly fall into two categories, Freedom of Information Act request and Subject Access Requests (SAR) under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) provides the right of access to recorded information held by a public authority. It applies to all categories of information held, with the exception of your own personal data.
The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) provides you with the right to access information that relates to you personally.
When you ask us for information under either the FOIA or DPA, we will review your request and will provide you with all of the information which we are able to release. However, we may not always be able to release all of the information you have requested. This might be because certain information is exempt from release to the public. In FOIA cases we may also decline to supply information if it would be too expensive for us to gather the information you are seeking in the form you have requested.
If you are unhappy about the way in which we have responded to your FOIA or SAR request, you may ask for an internal review. Further information about the FOIA/SAR review process can be found in our guidance Dissatisfied with the Commission's decision regarding a Freedom of Information Act or Subject Access Request - How can we help you?
If you would like us to review any other kind of decision please check our Decision Review guidance to see if that procedure is appropriate for you.
How to ask us to review an FOIA/SAR decision
If after reading our guidance, you would like to ask for an internal review please submit your request by email to LitigationandReview@charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk. We ask that you submit your internal review request within 3 calendar months of the date of our response.
If you remain dissatisfied following the outcome of the internal review you have a further right of appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office.
The Information Commissioner's Office can be contacted as follows:
Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Fax: 01625 524 510
Email the Information Commissioner