Charity Commission
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Charity regulator launches inquiry into housing and homelessness charity

New investigation to examine expenditure and property transactions at The Ashley Foundation.

The Charity Commission has opened a new statutory inquiry into a housing and homelessness charity, The Ashley Foundation (registered charity 1063208), over serious financial concerns.

The regulator has been alerted to concerns about purchases of luxury goods on the former CEO’s personal credit card, which were reimbursed by the charity. The purchases do not appear to be linked to the day to day activities of the charity, and so investigators will probe whether the transactions were reasonable and in the charity’s best interests.

The Commission is also aware that charity properties were sold to a third party and then re-sold on the same day for a significantly higher value. The properties are now being managed by the charity under a management agreement with a third party, the terms of which raise potential concerns.

Due to its serious concern that there may have been mismanagement and/or misconduct within the charity, the regulator opened a statutory inquiry into The Ashley Foundation on 20 March 2020.

The investigation will examine the administration, governance and management of the charity, and in particular:

  • the financial management and controls of the charity;
  • the trustees’ decision-making with regard to the disposal of properties and agreements entered into with a third party;
  • trustees’ management of conflicts of interest;
  • any unauthorised trustee private benefit;
  • any potential financial loss to the charity;
  • and the trustees’ compliance with their legal duties.

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:

  1. Section 46 of the Charities Act gives the Commission the power to open statutory inquiries.
  2. The opening of an inquiry is not a finding of wrongdoing.

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