Accountability and Transparency

MSN’s trustee board and senior management believe wholeheartedly in both these principles.

Accountability is about being responsible to stakeholders for actions taken by the charity; about being able to explain, clarify and justify actions. It implies that stakeholders have a right to know and hold a charity to account; and that the charity has a duty to explain and account for its actions. Charities have this duty as they have a privileged status because their purposes must be for the benefit of the public.

Transparency is about being easy to understand, and being open, frank and honest in all communications, transactions and operations. It is possible to be accountable by providing a lengthy and technical explanation of every detail, but if this information is not easily understood by the audience, and if key facts are hidden by the sheer volume of information then the information is not presented in a transparent form.

Accountability and transparency go hand-in-hand, and involve being aware of who charities are accountable to, what the important pieces of information are, and how they can be communicated most effectively.

MSN endeavours to be honest and truthful, and comply with the law. It believes it is best practice for charities to respect the reasonable requests of stakeholders, and operate in order to give beneficiaries and other stakeholders a better understanding of how the charity works.

In 2002, the government Strategy Unit wrote that Easy access to accurate and relevant information about charities is essential for real accountability, and for trust and confidence in charities.


Financial transparency is a key part of these principles.

Copies of MSN’s group statutory accounts are available from 2011 to the present at:

These accounts give an in-depth view of MSN s financial activities, and are designed for people or organisations who want to get a comprehensive insight into our spending and income patterns. These might include corporate social responsibility directors, grant making trusts, public bodies, or individuals looking to leave a legacy or make a large donation.

Each set of accounts will include any of the following items:

  • Operations and areas of benefit
  • Executives and trustees
  • Financial overview including income, expenditure and funds
  • Financial data over two years
  • Total income
  • Investment income
  • Charitable activity income
  • Other income
  • Total expenditure
  • Charitable activities and beneficiaries
  • Investment costs
  • Governance
  • Other expenditure
  • Staff costs
  • Fixed assets and liabilities

If any part of this section needs to be improved readers are invited to comment and recommend changes by informing