Charity regulator announces inquiry into Care4Calais
The Charity Commission yesterday announced a statutory inquiry into serious governance concerns identified at Care4Calais.
An interim manager has been appointed to the charity to support the investigation.
Care4Calais’s (charity number 1169048) work includes providing aid and support for displaced people in Belgium and France and asylum seekers in the UK.
The Commission first engaged with the trustees in August 2020, after proactively identifying concerns arising from the charity’s accounts. This engagement led to wider concerns about the charity’s governance, including a lack of clarity around who was validly appointed as a trustee and around how decisions are made.
The Commission is concerned that the charity’s existing governance arrangements may not be appropriate for a charity of this size, leading to potential further problems, including around implementing adequate financial controls and enacting safeguarding policies.
The inquiry opened in August 2020, to examine matters including:
- whether there has been mismanagement and/or misconduct in the administration of the charity by the trustees
- the trustees’ responses to the Commission’s requests for information and whether or not the charity has followed its regulatory advice and guidance
- the charity’s financial controls
- the charity’s safeguarding policies
Sarah Tomlinson and Philip Watts of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP have been appointed as interim managers to review the charity’s governance, administration and decision-making and make recommendations so that the charity is operating in line with its governing document, relevant laws and that its policies and procedures reflect best practice. The trustees remain otherwise responsible for the running of the charity.
The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional issues emerge.
It is the Commission’s general 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 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.
- The announcement of this inquiry has been delayed as a result of an appeal lodged by the charity, which has since been withdrawn.
- Section 76(3)(g) of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Commission power to appoint interim managers to a charity. Interim managers are appointed as a protective measure where the Commission has identified misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of a charity, or where there is a need to protect a charity’s property.
- This appointment is a protective power that will be reviewed at regular intervals. It will continue until the Commission makes a further order for its variation or discharge.
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