Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
Non-ministerial government department overview
Formed 16 December 2003 (2003-12-16)
Jurisdiction Scotland
Headquarters Quadrant House, 9 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY
Employees 52
Annual budget £2.950 million (2013-2014)[1]
Non-ministerial government department executives

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government with responsibility for the regulation of charities in Scotland.

OSCR is the independent regulator and registrar for more than 24,000 Scottish charities.[2] OSCR is charged with developing a regulatory framework for Scottish charities, where each charity is clear about is rights and responsibilities. This framework should also foster public confidence in charities. The OSCR is based in Dundee.


It was formerly an executive agency but following the passing of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005[3] it was made independent of ministerial control, and answers directly to the Scottish Parliament. It is the equivalent of the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. OSCR's full regulatory powers came into force on 24 April 2006.[4]


The OSCR perform a range of functions which includes:[5]

In August 2014 OSCR began a consultation on various aspects of its role, and is considering providing details of the names of trustees, and, at some stage, might make copies of charity accounts available online.[6]


Under section 6 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990,[7] the Lord Advocate was given the power to make enquiries either for general or specific purposes and to obtain various types of information from charities. Following the Scotland Act and the establishment of both the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government this power was exercised by the Scottish Ministers.

Initially charity regulation was carried out by the Scottish Charities Office, a department in the Crown Office, but this function was transferred to the OSCR in December 2003.[8]

The OSCR, as a non-ministerial department, is directly answerable to the Scottish Parliament and not to Ministers or the Scottish Government.


  1. Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator Annual Report 2013-2014 (PDF), Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, retrieved 6 February 2015
  2. "About OSCR". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  3. "Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act". Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.
  4. Smith, Susan (25 April 2016). "Public and charities have faith in OSCR". Third Force News. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  5. "About OSCR: Our work". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  6. "Regulator consults on new approach". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  7. "section 6 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990". National Archives. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  8. "Protocol for liaison between the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service" (PDF). Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator. August 2004. Retrieved 24 September 2014.

External links

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