Charity Commission
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Regulator to investigate wild cat conservation charity over failure to file accounts

The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into The Cat Survival Trust over trustees’ compliance with legal duties and fulfilment of its charitable objects.

Yesterday (11th January 2024), the Charity Commission confirms an inquiry has been opened into The Cat Survival Trust due to continuous failure to file its legally required accounts.

The inquiry will look at the trustees’ compliance with their legal duties relating to the governance and management of their charity including the extent to which the trustees have complied with their charitable objects.

The Cat Survival Trust was established in 1976 to advance public education and research into wild cats and their conservation. Alongside research, the charity runs a wild cat sanctuary based in Hertfordshire.

Over the years, the Commission has worked to encourage the charity to submit overdue financial information. The regulator took steps to establish if the charity was still operating and repeatedly sent filing reminders before opening a regulatory compliance case in 2019. Through powers under the Charities Act, an order was then made for the trustees to submit all outstanding accounting information. Further failure to file, now totalling 11 consecutive years, has led the regulator to open an inquiry.

The inquiry will examine the administration, governance and management of the charity, in particular the extent to which the trustees have:

  • failed to comply with their statutory reporting duties including the submission of the charity’s annual reports and accounts to the Commission

  • acted in accordance with their legal duties and have been responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration and management of the charity

  • furthered the charity’s objects for the public benefit

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

  • 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 inquiry was opened on 4 December 2023 under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011.
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