The Charity Commission is encouraging anyone who would like to share relevant information about the Presidents Club Charitable Trust and the charity’s fundraising event on 18 January to come forward, in order to help the Commission determine whether trustees of the charity have complied with their legal duties and responsibilities.
The Commission, the regulator of charities in England and Wales, opened a regulatory compliance case into the charity on 24 January 2018, following media reports alleging that some staff were exposed to harassment and inappropriate activity at the event. The police have already stressed that any allegations of criminal behaviour should be reported to them.
Tracy Howarth, Head of Regulatory Compliance at the Charity Commission says:
It is important that anyone who attended or worked at the event knows they can come forward and raise concerns with us. We can’t provide any legal remedy or compensation to individuals. But what we can and must do, is to assess whether the trustees of the charity complied with important legal duties and responsibilities in managing their charity.
We want to ensure we have all the information possible to make a balanced and reasoned assessment of the facts.
So I would like to encourage anyone with relevant information to come forward.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Commission at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Commission stresses that some the issues raised by the event are not within its regulatory remit and it is working closely with other regulators as appropriate.
The opening of the case is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing. When the case has concluded, the Commission will publish a report detailing what issues it looked at, what it found and what it did. Previous Commission regulatory case reports are available on GOV.UK.
Notes to editors
As a result of the media coverage arising from the event, the trustees of the Presidents Club Charitable Trust have decided to carry out an orderly winding up of the charity. They have confirmed they will not take any steps to dissolve the Charity until the Commission’s regulatory compliance case is complete.
The objects of the charity allow funds to be applied for such charitable purposes as the trustees may decide. The charity has made grants to a number of charities. Some of these have said that they now wish to return funds to the charity. The Commission has published guidance on its website for those charities who are considering whether or not they should, or can, return charitable funds. In most cases, the Commission’s consent will be required to authorise the return of historic donations.
The trustees have established a separate contact point to deal with complaints and intend to appoint an appropriately qualified independent complaints assessor to consider those complaints received. No complaints have been made to date. The trustees have told the Commission that they are committed to the timely and efficient resolution of any complaints received.