Press release

Charity Commission expands inquiry into charities failing to file accounts

This news article was withdrawn on

No longer current

The commission names a further 14 charities as part of its class inquiry into double defaulting charities, and announces the next phase of the inquiry.

placeholder
  • Charities added to class inquiry into double defaulters
  • £68 million of charitable funds accounted for so far
  • 88 charities already added to inquiry

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today named a further 14 charities as part of its class inquiry into those charities who fail to file accounts properly in two consecutive years, so-called ‘double defaulters’. The commission has also announced the next phase of the inquiry.

The announcement comes after the commission published a list of excuses received for not filing accounts on time.

In September 2013 the regulator first launched the class inquiry into charities that have failed to file annual reports, accounts and returns for 2 or more years. The inquiry concentrated on those charities with a last known income of over £500,000.

A second phase of the inquiry was launched in November 2013, extending it to those charities with a last known income of £250,000. Due to the number of charities involved, the commission staggered this phase, adding 21 charities to the inquiry between November 2013 and May 2014, and a further 29 charities to the inquiry between May and November 2014.

In January 2015 the commission continued its robust regulatory approach to charities that were non-compliant with their filing obligations by launching a new phase of the inquiry, focusing on charities with a last known income of £200,000 to £249,999. Under this phase 12 charities were added to the inquiry between 26 January and 29 January 2015.

The inquiry has commenced two new phases, looking again at those charities with a last known income of over £250,000, and then at those with a last known income of between £200,000 to £249,999. Those charities are announced today.

Between 13 October and 27 October 2015, 8 charities were added to the inquiry:

Between 12 November 2015 and 26 November 2015, 6 further charities were added to the inquiry:

As at the end of December 2015, 88 charities in total had become part of the inquiry, 73 of which have fully complied with their obligations, and as a result ceased to be part of the inquiry. In addition to this, 3 charities have been removed from the class inquiry and have been placed into inquiries in their own right due to serious regulatory concerns being identified which require further examination by the commission (see endnote 10).

This has resulted in over £68 million of funds being transparently accounted for on the register of charities, and outstanding accounting information being provided.

The inquiry will consider looking at those charities with a last known income of less than £200,000 in early 2016.

Carl Mehta, Head of Investigations and Enforcement Operations at the commission, said:

As we continue to target defaulting charities, the message to trustees is simple; submitting this annual information is your legal responsibility, even if you delegate it to charity staff or your accountants to do. Charities are sent multiple reminders about their approaching deadlines, and with default notices. There is now an online tool which allows third parties to submit accounts, making the process easier for those involved – so there is no excuse for non-compliance.

Our inquiry has already resulted in millions of pounds of charitable funds being publically accounted for on the register of charities, and we will continue to crack down on defaulters, showing that we will not tolerate charities that demonstrate contempt for the public and their donors by failing to meet reporting requirements.

The commission will continue to publish inquiry reports into these charities on GOV.UK.

Ends

PR 04/16


For more information on this story contact:

Press office

Endnotes

  1. Submitted the outstanding accounting information on 9 November 2015
  2. Submitted the outstanding accounting information on 10 December 2015
  3. Submitted the outstanding accounting information on 27 October 2015
  4. Submitted partial outstanding accounting information on 18 December 2015 and 4 January 2016 for financial year ending 31 March 2014, accounting information for financial year ending 31 March 2013 remains outstanding
  5. Submitted the outstanding accounting information on 25 November 2015
  6. Submitted the outstanding accounting information on 24 November 2015
  7. Submitted the outstanding accounting information on 8 December 2015
  8. Submitted the outstanding accounting information on 26 November 2015
  9. Submitted the outstanding accounting information on 13 January 2016
  10. The inquiries into these charities have / will be announced independently of this press release

Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.

  2. Our mission is to be the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that charities know what they have to do, the public know what charities do and charities are held to account.

  3. Section 173 of the Charities Act 2011 states that failure to submit annual documents to the commission is a criminal offence unless the person charged with submitting the documents took all reasonable steps for securing the filing of documents in time.

  4. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the commission access to a range of protective and remedial powers.

  5. The commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry is based on whether it is in the public interest to do so and with consideration of our objective to increase public trust and confidence in charities.

Published 19 January 2016