Charity Commission
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Inquiry opened into charity operating in West Africa

The regulator’s concerns relate to the charity’s financial management and record-keeping.

The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into Water for Africa due to its failure to submit accounting information and concerns about its financial controls.

The charity was registered in 2006 and works to provide water, sanitation and healthcare to communities in West Africa.

Enquiries by the Commission identified concerns about the charity’s financial controls, record-keeping and the use of its funds including payments to a third-party and overseas payments.

The regulator wrote to the trustees setting out its regulatory concerns, which included potential financial misconduct and inadequate record-keeping, but the responses it received failed to provide adequate assurances or documentation.

In order to protect the charity’s assets and investigate further, the regulator opened a statutory inquiry on 16 August 2023. The inquiry will examine:

  • the extent to which the trustees are complying with their legal duties in particular their accounting and reporting responsibilities; their compliance with the charity’s governing document, and their oversight of charitable expenditure and end use of funds
  • whether potential conflicts of interest and connected party transactions have been properly managed
  • the trustees’ plans for the charity’s future

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 the issues examined, any action taken, and the inquiry’s outcomes.

Notes to editors

  1. 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.
  2. The inquiry was opened on 16 August 2023 under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011.
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