Press release

Continued concerns over handling of charitable funds prompts second inquiry

Commission announces statutory inquiry into Human Aid UK

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The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Human Aid UK (1138111), due to mismanagement and/or misconduct at the charity.

The charity was previously under inquiry in 2014 due to concerns regarding its governance and finances.

On 9 July 2019 charitable funds were seized by the police during a port stop from individuals carrying cash on behalf of the charity. The charity reported a serious incident to the Commission following this.

Cash couriering is a live risk in the wider charity sector and of regulatory interest to the Commission. The Commission’s regulatory advice, issued in 2017, cautions against cash couriering.

As a result of regulatory concerns the Commission opened a statutory inquiry into Human Aid UK on 2 August 2019. As a temporary and protective measure, the inquiry has exercised its power to restrict the trustees from certain cash transactions in order to protect the charity’s property.

The inquiry is examining:

  • the trustees’ management and administration of the charity, including their compliance with both charity law and the law as it relates to the charity and its administration; and
  • the charity’s governance, adherence to policies and procedures, use of partners and monitoring and verification of overseas expenditure.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.

Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK

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Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales; our role is to regulate charity trustees’ compliance with the charity law framework.
  2. Section 76(3)(f) of the Charities Act gives the Commission power to restrict certain transactions that the trustees can enter into. This is a temporary and protective measure.
  3. The Commission’s advice cautioning against cash couriering can be found here.
  4. The seizure of funds is a matter for the police.

Press office

Published 23 September 2019