Charity Commission inquiry into Khatme Nubuwwat Centre finds poor governance at the charity

21 Mar 2019 01:32 PM

A Commission investigation into reports of offensive literature on display at its premises has led to significant improvements in the charity’s governance.

An inquiry report published by the Charity Commission has found that the trustees of the Khatme Nubuwwat Centre (KNC) (formerly known as the Aalami Majlise Tahaffuze Khatme Nubuwwat) are responsible for a series of failings amounting to misconduct and/or mismanagement.

The inquiry was prompted by the Commission’s engagement with the charity’s trustees after a news article published in April 2016 alleged the charity was displaying literature calling for the killing of members of the Ahmadi community.

As a result of this, the Commission found serious regulatory concerns in relation to the trustees’ administration and management of the charity. This included the trustees demonstrating behaviour which was unacceptable and fell below the standard expected of them.

The inquiry found that the charity had no framework or controls in place in relation to the distribution of literature or hosting of speakers at its premises. The charity had also been associated with an organisation in Pakistan, which extended to bearing the same name and using the charity’s contact details on their materials. The inquiry was concerned by this association due to the Pakistani organisation’s alleged connections to terrorist and extremist groups as well as offensive material on its website relating to the Ahmadi community.

In response to these concerns, and others, the Commission exercised its powers and issued an order to the charity’s trustees under section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 (‘the Act’). The order directed the trustees to complete a series of actions intended to improve the administration and governance of the charity.

As a result of the Commission’s engagement, the trustees made improvements to the charity which include replacing a number of its trustees, implementing new policies, establishing a new governing document and taking measures to remove links to the Pakistani organisation of the same name.

In February 2019, the Commission used its regulatory powers to issue the charity’s trustees with an official warning under section 75A of the Act. The warning, which was issued due to the trustees’ failure to ensure its accounts and annual documents were filed on time, sets out that the trustees must take all reasonable steps to ensure future returns are submitted on time.

Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement said:

Our inquiry concluded that the trustees did not properly discharge their duties under charity law and were responsible for a series of failings amounting to misconduct and/or mismanagement. These failings led the charity to be associated with material that was wholly unacceptable and offensive and disparaging to the Ahmadi community.

As a result of our inquiry, the charity’s trustees have now taken steps to improve its governance. We expect the trustees to continue to protect the charity’s identity, and comply with charity law, so that the charity can have a positive impact on people’s lives.

The full report is available on GOV.UK.