SEX offenders could be barred from acting as charity trustees under plans to bring Scots law into line with tougher rules south of the border.

Other proposals include a public register of charity trustees, publication of all annual reports and accounts, and de-registering charities that fail to file their financial information.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (Oscr) could also be given greater powers to investigate bogus charities and to stop dodgy trustees setting up a series of charities.

All charities on the Scottish Charity Register would also have to retain a connection in Scotland in order to be covered by Scottish legislation under the proposals.

The ideas in the three-month consultation have largely come from Oscr themselves, as it has a statutory duty to advice ministers on the current state of charity law.

Oscr was set up by a 2005 Holyrood law, and the consultation says an update is needed in light of tougher rules on trustees in England and Wales, and recent abuse of the system.

Disqualification criteria for trustees south of the border were recently extended to people with unspent convictions for perjury, bribery, terrorism and people on the sex offenders’ register.

The government said it had to consider whether the regulatory system was still appropriate “for preserving public trust, taking into account the evolving challenges” faced by the sector.

It said: “In the wake of recent safeguarding concerns both at home and abroad, as well as a range of governance concerns and examples of charitable status being abused, it is more important than ever that charities and trustees operate transparently and are accountable for their actions.”

SNP Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Charities play a vital role in our society, from supporting individuals and communities, to informing policy at a national level, they are key to us achieving our ambition of creating a fairer and more prosperous country.

"It is therefore important that we do all we can to maintain and increase public trust and confidence in the charity sector and making sure legislation supports that. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the charity sector to share their views by responding to this consultation.”

The consultation runs until 1 April, with views sought from members of the public, the charity sector, and anyone with an interest in charity law.

In an Oscr survey last year, 88 per cent of people said evidence of a charity's achievements and knowing how much of their donation went to the cause would improve their trust in it.