Charity Commission
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Regulator investigates four education charities over concerns of potential misuse of funds

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory class inquiry into linked charities after finding irregularities in their accounts.

The charities that are subject of inquiry are: Education for GondarEducation in SidamaEducation for Nyanza and Education in Western Province, Kenya.

The Charity Commission opened the inquiry into these charities after identifying concerns that there could be a risk to charitable funds or assets. The regulator has used its powers to restrict the bank accounts of Education for Nyanza and Education in Western Province, Kenya.

All charities were established to help further the education of young people in their respective areas by providing educational and maintenance grants. One trustee of Education for Gondar is linked to the other three charities, with all four sharing a similar structure. Similarities found by the regulator’s registrations team led the Commission to first open compliance cases into each organisation as part of its proactive engagement.

The regulator analysed each charity’s annual return submissions and bank accounts, finding that Education for Gondar and Education in Sidama’s accounts followed a pattern of receiving funds that were then immediately transferred to a private bank account. The inquiry will seek to understand how each charity is generating and applying funds received.

Bank analysis has also revealed that Education for Gondar’s accounts for Financial Year Ending 31 January 2022 do not match the information supplied in its annual return, raising concerns that the Commission has received inaccurate information. All charities submitted very similar annual returns and so the regulator will also investigate the accuracy of the information supplied by the other three charities.

The charities have since failed to supply their latest annual accounting information on time. Trustees are responsible for ensuring that their charity’s accounts are filed on time and in full as part of their legal duties.

The inquiry will examine the extent to which the charities’ trustees are complying with their legal duties in respect of the administration, governance and management of their charity, with particular regard to: 

  1. The management of their charity’s finances.
  2. Accurately accounting for their charity’s funds and assets in accordance with legal requirements.
  3. Ensuring their charity’s objects are being met and the charity is operating for the public benefit.

The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

It is the Commission’s usual 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

  • 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 Charity Commission opened the statutory inquiry into all four charities under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 (the ‘Act’) on 1st February 2024.
Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/regulator-investigates-four-education-charities-over-concerns-of-potential-misuse-of-funds

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