Charity Commission
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Charity regulator launches inquiry into financial concerns at The Knightland Foundation

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry and appointed two interim managers to a London-based grant-making charity, due to serious concerns surrounding the charity’s governance and finances.

The Commission has engaged with the Knightland Foundation since 2016, when its proactive review of the charity’s accounts revealed a number of concerns, including around insufficiently documented loan agreements and transactions to connected companies. In March 2017, the Commission issued the charity’s trustees with an action plan to address these matters.

The Commission continued to monitor the charity and due to unresolved concerns, it escalated its engagement to a statutory inquiry on 24 February 2021. An inquiry gives the regulator access to the full range of its legal and enforcement powers.

The inquiry will examine whether potential conflicts of interest and connected party transactions have been properly managed and whether there has been any unauthorised trustee benefit. It will also look at wider concerns around the charity’s financial and resource management and the trustees’ compliance with their legal obligations.

The Commission has also exercised its powers under the Charities Act 2011 to appoint joint interim managers, John Dickinson and Joseph Colley, of Carter Backer Winter LLP, on 7 April 2021 to help address the concerns at the charity.

Notes to Editors:

  1. View the charity’s entry on the register of charities.
  2. The trustees have appealed the appointment of the interim managers to the Charity Tribunal and the hearing is expected to take place in early summer.
  3. 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.
  4. The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 temporary and 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.
  7. This appointment is a temporary and 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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