Charity Commission launches statutory inquiry over concerns at Devon homelessness charity
Regulator escalates probe into management and administration of Humanity Torbay.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Humanity Torbay (registered charity 1175068) over serious concerns about the trustees’ oversight and management of the charity.
The Torbay charity exists to support homeless people by, for example, running drop-in advice sessions or providing clothing and food.
However, the regulator has had to engage with the trustees on several occasions in the past year after some posts on the charity’s social media did not appear to comply with the Commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity. Despite the Commission issuing formal regulatory advice to the trustees about the need to ensure personal political views are kept separate from the charity, it has received further complaints about political content being posted online, including on the charity’s Facebook page.
Charities can undertake political activity and campaigning if it furthers or supports their purpose, but such activity must never be party political and a charity must stress its independence at all times.
The regulator is concerned that the trustees of Humanity Torbay do not have sufficient oversight or control of the charity’s social media content which should only be used to promote the charity’s objects and services.
Due to its serious concerns, the Commission opened a statutory inquiry into Humanity Torbay on 9 June 2020. The inquiry will examine the trustees’ compliance with regulatory advice and guidance, in particular in relation to use of the charity’s social media channels.
It will also probe the trustees’ management of the charity’s resources and financial affairs, compliance with their general legal duties and responsibilities, and whether the charity’s governance is fit for purpose. The regulator has been looking into the charity’s finances after an independent examiner’s report in the accounts for the financial year ending 31 March 2019 highlighted concerns about accounting records.
The Commission may extend the scope of the scope of the inquiry if further regulatory concerns arise. 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 by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.
Notes to Editors:
- The opening of an inquiry is not a finding of wrongdoing.
- The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
Press enquiries – office hours 0300 065 2123
Press enquiries – out of hours 07785 748787
Latest News from
Regulator urges donors to support registered charities to help those affected by Covid-19 around the world29/07/2020 12:20:00
The Disasters Emergency Committee Coronavirus Appeal brings together 14 UK registered charities.
Charity Commission Annual Public Meeting28/07/2020 09:20:00
Charity Commission Chair, Baroness Stowell, CEO and other directors invite you to the Annual Public Meeting on Thursday 1st October 2020 at 11am.
Convenors of SORP engagement discussions announced09/07/2020 09:20:00
SORP engagement process begins as convenors are appointed to take forward discussions on the next SORP.
Charities receive over £32 million from dormant trusts03/07/2020 15:10:00
Charity Commission and UK Community Foundations call for more charities to join programme to release charity money, as future funding announced by DCMS
Charity Commission concludes inquiry prompted by dispute at South London charity03/07/2020 09:20:00
Charity Commission criticises a group of trustees of Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators over long-running dispute.
Christ Church Oxford - mediation required by charity regulator29/06/2020 15:20:00
The Charity Commission has told both sides in the dispute to enter talks.
RNIB failures led to some children in the charity’s care being harmed, says watchdog26/06/2020 09:20:00
Charity Commission investigation finds serious mismanagement at the charity exposed some children in the charity’s care to harm and others to undue risk.
Regulator opens statutory inquiry into Yorkshire-based education charity, following repeated non-compliance23/06/2020 09:20:00
New investigation opened into Charr Yarr Welfare Foundation Limited.