Charity Commission
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Charity Commission announces statutory inquiry into the Olive Grove Foundation

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Olive Grove Foundation over concerns about the charity’s governance and financial management.

The charity, which is headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, has purposes to help people affected by poverty, wars or natural disasters anywhere in the world.

The regulator had previously engaged with the charity over concerns about its expenditure in high-risk areas of the world. In October 2019, the Commission provided formal regulatory advice, including requiring that the charity introduce strong financial audit systems, to ensure the trustees could better monitor how the charity’s funds were being spent. After conducting a follow-up case to monitor compliance with these requirements, the Commission concluded that it was not satisfied the trustees had acted on previous advice and that serious regulatory concerns remained.

The concerns include, but are not limited to, poor governance, poor monitoring of charitable funds and the use of a personal bank account to transfer money overseas.

The inquiry will examine:

  • The administration, governance, and management of the charity by the trustees
  • The charity’s financial controls, including the transfer of charitable funds to personal bank accounts
  • The charity’s activities and overseas partnerships
  • Whether the trustees have fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law
  • Whether there has been misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity

In addition to opening the inquiry, the regulator has also exercised its legal powers to restrict the transactions the charity’s trustees can enter into without the prior written consent of the regulator. This includes transferring funds overseas and withdrawing charitable funds in cash.

The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries are available on GOV.UK.

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